Teams of cyber security experts from the National Security Agency (NSA) and students from the U.S. military academies and DoD post-graduate schools squared off in the annual Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX) April 21-24, 2009. The Air Force Institute of Technology had two teams participate under the leadership of instructor Tim Lacey. The AFIT teams achieved the two best scores in the weeklong event, taking first and second place in the exercise. As is tradition, the CDX trophy is awarded to the undergraduate service academy with the best score. For the third straight year, that honor went to the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The CDX, annually sponsored and conducted by the NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, included teams from the five U.S. military academies--U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy--and the two DoD graduate schools--AFIT and the Naval Postgraduate School. For the first time, an allied nation military academy participated in the CDX, the Royal Military College of Canada.
The Cyber Defense Exercise is a project that allows students to gain real-life experience in the protection of critical computing resources. Through a set of operational attack scenarios spanning five days, students must manage the network under attack and respond appropriately to keep services available to the end-users. The entire exercise was conducted on Virtual Private Networks, providing a safe haven for the exercise while preventing interference with real-world networks.For questions on CDX 2009, please contact the Center for Cyberspace Research. Video from the 2008 CDX can be viewed at http://www.afit.edu/ccr/pdf/cdx2008.wmv.