Cadets keep NSA crackers at bay

Tuesday, 21 May 2002, 7:39 AM EST

Cadets and midshipmen from the nation's military service academies faced off last month in real-world cybercombat. They used all their skills to keep production networks up and running while under attack by National Security Agency experts. In the end, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point kept the coveted NSA Information Assurance Director's Trophy it won last year.

The exercise "was a lot harder than talking about it in class," said West Point cadet Chris Gates of Little Rock, Ark. "Until you fail, you don't know how hard."

Wayne Schepens, an NSA visiting fellow, called the exercise "a win across the board from the NSA's perspective."

The second Cyber Defense Exercise was the first in which all the service academies participated.

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