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Press Release | Argonne National Laboratory

University of Central Florida wins DOE’s 2018 CyberForce Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced University of Central Florida from Orlando, Florida as the national winner of DOE’s 2018 CyberForce Competition™.

Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), the CyberForce Competition is DOE’s fourth cyber defense competition designed to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to help defend and bolster our nation’s critical energy infrastructure and ensure our energy security.

The energy infrastructure we depend upon as a Nation is under the constant threat of cyberattacks,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in a video broadcast to competitors across DOE’s national laboratories. As the Sector-Specific Agency for cybersecurity in the energy sector, guarding against those threats is my highest priority, and this competition is becoming a key element in developing our next generation of cyber warriors.”

Kansas State University was the regional winner of the 18 teams competing at Argonne. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

This year’s competition featured approximately 70 teams representing 24 states and Puerto Rico, with participants ranging from undergraduate freshmen to Ph.D. candidates. Argonne National Laboratory was the lead lab with participation from six other National Labs, including: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.

Developing the next generation of cybersecurity experts is a critical part of our mission within CESER,” said Assistant Secretary for CESER Karen S. Evans. The CyberForce Competition provides the opportunity for us to engage our future defenders and let them know we not only support, but also commend, their interest in a field that is critical to our national security.”

The CyberForce Competition challenged college and university students with defending a simulated oil transportation network, a power delivery system, and a high-performance computing system against attacks by experts at the National Labs, the private sector, and the National Guard. The challenge was augmented by anomalies and constraints designed to replicate those commonly found in real-world systems.

The mission of the national labs is to secure America’s energy future,” said Paul Kearns, Argonne’s director. Watching these students defend against real-world scenarios, in real time, makes me confident that our country will have the cyber workforce we need to protect our energy assets.”

Winners of the 2018 CyberForce Competition include:

Overall nationwide winner:

University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida

Regional winners:

From Argonne National Laboratory:

1st Place – Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 

From Brookhaven National Laboratory:

1st Place – University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland  

From Idaho National Laboratory:

1st Place – Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:

1st Place – University of California, Davis, California

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory:

1st Place – University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 

From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory:

1st Place – Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 

From Sandia National Laboratories:

1st Place – Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas  

More information on DOE’s CyberForce Competition can be found HERE.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.