Air Force wins cyberexercise

Thursday, 1 May 2003, 1:19 AM EST

The Air Force Academy recently beat out the four other service academies in the Cyber Defense Exercise, a cyber training tool designed to prepare students to protect and defend the nation's critical information systems. Each student team was challenged to configure a network of computers securely to serve both local and remote users. The exercise environment was created to represent coalition information sharing; the students entered into direct cybercombat with so-called "red forces," which challenged them to keep their systems online and running.

Each team was evaluated on how well they maintained services, as well as their efforts to recover from and prevent future security breaches, according to the National Security Agency, which sponsors the event along with the U.S. Military Academy.

In addition to requiring each school to host a "rogue" computer that was controlled by the red forces, this year's exercise differed from the previous two years in many ways. The networks at each academy represented a collection of coalition partners deployed as regional commands, said Army Lt. Col. Daniel Ragsdale, director of the information technology and operations center in the electrical engineering and computer science department at the U.S. Military Academy.

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