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AF Academy Cadets Win NSA 'Cyber Defense'

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy Cyber Team won the National Security Agency's Cyber Defense Exercise, held April 16-18, for the second year in a row, outscoring teams from other military academies in the U.S. and Canada.

The 13th annual inter-service Cyber Defense Exercise is a large-scale computer network defense competition designed to test a cyber team's ability to create and maintain a fully functioning computer network under a hostile attack.

During the competition, cadets in the Academy's Computer Sciences 468 Secure Networks course and members of the Academy Cyber Competition Team built a network with email, web and file transfer capabilities from scratch and defended their network from hackers, solved a forensics challenge and secured a vulnerable web-server.

"Our second consecutive victory in the Cyber Defense Exercise is a result of the incredible dedication and hard work of our cadets," said Dr. Martin Carlisle, the Cyber Team's coach. "(Cadets) understand the critical role cyber plays in our nation's defense and are proactively learning as much as they can so they will be outstanding leaders in this domain."

The competition took place on virtual, private networks to provide a safe network for the exercise while preventing interference with real-world networks.  

The team will receive the NSA Director's Trophy for Information Assurance at a future date. The Academy Cyber team received the trophy in 2003, 2006 and 2012.

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