Air Force Academy Wins Cyber Exercise

The Air Force Academy triumphed over the other services’ military academies in the National Security Agency’s 6th annual cyber defense exercise. “I believe one reason behind our success was a focus on fundamental security principles, rather than specific tools,” said Capt. Sean Butler, officer in charge of the academy’s winning team, in the school’s April 21 release. He added, “Our cadets spent a lot of effort making sure they all had at least a basic familiarity with all the components of our network and how they fit together.” The exercise took place April 10-14 at NSA’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters and at the academies. During the competition, NSA network specialists and military network experts formed the red cell team that challenged cadet blue cell teams to defend a closed-computer network that they designed, built, and configured at their respective academies. NSA graded each team’s ability to maintain network services while dealing with security intrusions.