Department of Energy’s Annual Cyber Defense Competition


The ever-increasing amount of Internet technology in the modern day makes security a high priority and causes a high demand for cybersecurity professionals in the United States.  In fact, ISACA predicts a global shortage of two million cyber professionals by 2019.[1]  Unfilled cybersecurity careers will reach over 1.5 million by 2019. With the ever-increasing amount of technology placed on the internet, security becomes a high priority. The Department of Energy (DOE), capitalizing on the expertise of current national laboratory staff that previously hosted two successful cyber defense competitions to exercise interactive, scenario-based events, where teams engage in cybersecurity activities includes methods, practices, strategy, policy, and ethics. Through the cyber defense competitions, DOE has worked to increase 1) hands-on cyber education to college students and professionals, 2) awareness into the critical infrastructure and cyber security nexus,  and  3)  basic  understanding  of  cyber  security  within  a  real  world scenario.

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GSS’s 2017 Cyber Defense Competition

Cyber Defense Competition 2017 Indiana Tech

GSS’s Cyber Operations, Analysis and Research (COAR) team partnered with Education to host their Second Annual Cyber Defense Competition (CDC) on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Students from varying levels of higher education and regions within the United States competed to defend a real-world simulation of an energy and water distribution system.

To find out how the day went, we asked COAR’s Amanda Joyce. Read more

COAR members attend Grace Hopper

The COAR team’s Jennifer Fowler and Amanda Joyce will be presenting on their poster at Grace Hopper on October 4, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. It is produced by the Anita Borg Institute and presented in partnership with ACM.[1]

The poster entitled, “Argonne National Laboratory’s Cyber Defense Competition – Defending Tomorrow’s Infrastructure Today” looks to highlight the gender gap in cyber security and computer science and how Argonne’s Cyber Defense Competition is hoping to help females become more aware of the many different paths of cyber security through a hands-on defense approach. Read more

Reflecting on Our Second Annual Cyber Defense Competition

On April 1st 2017, fifteen collegiate teams from across the country participated in Argonne National Laboratory’s Second Annual Cyber Defense Competition. Blue Teams defended their networking infrastructure and utilities against attacks from the Red Team. This post will detail the highlights of the competition, including how teams were breached, what went into scoring, and how our team built the Industrial Control Systems for the competition.

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Cyber Defense Competition – Puzzle #3


We’re now sufficiently down the rabbit hole – are you up for a stroll in wonderland?

If so, test your crypto skills by cracking puzzle #3, Meditullium.

This is the third of four puzzles, each of which increases in complexity.

May the odds be in your favor.

If you think you have the correct solution, email [email protected], and the Puzzlemaster will let you know if you have successfully solved the puzzle.

47 6f 6f 64 20 4c 75 63 6b 0d 0

This post was written for the 2017 Cyber Defense Competition.

Reddit AMA: The ins and outs of working in cybersecurity

UPDATE: Reddit AMA is here:

coffee-and-tea-1359055910Join the live Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) online event TODAY at 1 p.m. to learn about available cyber security jobs in Argonne’s  Cyber Operations, Analysis and Research (COAR) team, part of the Risk and Infrastructure Science Center (RISC). Current team members stand ready to answer your questions about what it’s like to work in cyber security at a national laboratory.

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Cyber Security Opportunities at Argonne

COAR is looking for creative individuals with strong problem-solving skills to join our dynamic group! As a cybersecurity team, our mission is to strengthen and defend our nation’s critical infrastructure by analyzing, developing, and implementing novel cyber solutions that penetrate three key areas: cyber intelligence, cyber physical, and cyber resilience.

Those joining in our mission will have the resources to pursue new research ideas, flexibility that supports a healthy work-life balance, and fulfillment through numerous career advancement and professional development opportunities.

This post was written by: COAR

Cyber Defense Competition – Puzzle #1

A Challenge.

Argonne National Laboratory’s Second Cyber Defense Competition (CDC) will be held on April 1, 2017.

Test your hacking skills by cracking puzzle #1.

There will be four puzzles, each of which increases in complexity.

The puzzle can be found here: Puzzle 1

May the odds be in your favor.

If you think you have the correct solution, email [email protected], and the puzzlemaster will let you know if you have successfully completed your mission.

47 6f 6f 64 20 4c 75 63 6b 0d 0a

This post was written for the 2017 Cyber Defense Competition.

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).

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