UCF Cyber Defense Team Wins National Department of Energy Competition  

**PHOTO LEFT TO RIGHT: coach Tom Nedorost; graduate student Austin Sturm; seniors Andrew Hughes, Matthew St. Hubin and David Maria; and juniors Michael Roberts and Martin Roberts

UCF’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Team on Saturday won the Department of Energy’s CyberForce National Competition that challenges teams across the country to build a robust corporate network that can withstand attacks to steal data, deface websites or wipe out critical systems.

The competition drew bids from 97 schools seeking to participate and UCF was one of 66 teams selected to compete. Participating teams spent several weeks designing and building corporate networks that, during the on-site competition on Saturday in Argonne, Illinois, were challenged by professional hackers. UCF’s networks, which included industrial control systems for a fictitious oil transportation company, a power delivery company, and a high-performance computing cluster, were found to be the least susceptible to the attacks.

“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 news release. “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.”

UCF’s team is comprised of six College of Engineering and Computer Science students and their coach, Tom Nedorost, associate instructor of computer science.

The DOE tweeted a congratulatory message: “We don’t crown college football champions, but we can declare @UCF champions of #DOECyberForce!”

UCF was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security in 2016. UCF’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Team consistently competes at a national level, including in the Raytheon National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions where UCF won back-to-back in 2014, 2015 and 2016.


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