What is CyberPatriot?

CyberPatriot is a national cybersecurity competition hosted by the Air Force Association in order to educate students in computer defense, networking, and security. It is made for both middle/high school students and has various divisions.

The main three are the Open, All-Service, and Middle School divisions. The Open division encompasses all public, private, parochial, magnet, charter, home schools, and certain other special organizations like Boy/Girl Scouts. All-Service is open to JROTC Services, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, and US Naval Sea Cadet Corps units. The Middle School division is open to any middle schoolers that fall into the same type of organizations as the open division.

The competition is centered around multiple rounds, most of which are done online from home or other facility, except for the national finals which is in Baltimore, MD. There are two qualification rounds, and the scores from them are totaled to determine what group the team is place into. 30 percent of them go to the Platinum tier, 40 percent to the Gold tier, and 30 go to the Bronze tier. Each level has their own state and regional competitions, while the platinum tier has the National Finals in Maryland.

Open Division Advancement

The rounds consist of many different challenges, and include things like fixing vulnerable Windows and Ubuntu images, answering quiz questions about various topics, and created mock network designs using Cisco Packet Tracer. Each round lasts up to 6 hours.

This years competition is called CyberPatriot X and will have over 5000 competing teams, with only 26 going to the National Finals from all divisions. If you are a middle or high schooler who has an interest in technology, hacking, and networking, I highly suggest you look into forming a team to compete next year.

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