Argonne National Laboratory 2016 Cyber Defense Competition

Picture1Over the weekend, Argonne National Laboratory held its first annual collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CDC). The competition was composed of eight collegiate teams from around the midwest.

The objective for each Blue Team (defenders) was to secure a given business network infrastructure (including a mock industrial control system) against  the  unwarranted  attacks  of  the Red Team (attackers),  all  while  attempting  to  keep  established  services running and providing customer assistance for services to the Green Team (users).

On April 23rd, teams arrived early to make any last minute changes to the network. Before the official commencement of the competition, Interim Associate Laboratory Director Todd Combs gave opening remarks and introduced Congressman Bill  Foster  and  Major  General  Richard J. Hayes, Jr,  who  spoke  about  the  importance  and  relevance  of  cyber  security — from how it effects a single person to an entire country and even the world as a whole.

Once the cyber security student competition started, the Red Team began their attack against the infrastructure of the Blue Teams. Collegiate Teams defended their infrastructure from Red Team attacks and ensure that their services remained available for Green Team members, who played the role of the customers. Students not only had to defend their infrastructure, but also had to deal with anomalies. Such anomalies included a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, removing compromised credentials from their systems in a timely manner, and attend a meeting with their “CEO” to discuss the IT security implementation of their company.

One of the main components of the competition was creating detailed instruction within user-friendly documentation to be provided to the Green Team, who took on the role of the customers and would attempt to access the services each team had to provide. Each member of the Green Team would fill out a survey based upon what services were accessible and score according to the readability of the user documentation.

Special congratulations to the top three competitors:

First Place – Team ISEAGE, Iowa State University

Second Place – Team BINAGT, University of Northern Iowa

Third Place – Team UIUC, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Congratulations to all teams who participated in Argonne’s first annual Cyber Defense Competition:

GSU Jaguars – Governors State University
CyberFlyers – Lewis University
Lewis U Flyers – Lewis University
sysSec – Northern Illinois University
Fire Team Kernel – University of Illinois at Chicago
UIUC – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
BINAGT – University of Northern Iowa
ISEAGE – Iowa State University

This post was written by: Steven Day & Jennifer Fowler