By Theresa Duque and Kathy Kincade
In a face-off between four university teams representing Berkeley Lab and approximately 70 teams representing six other national labs, the University of Central Florida representing Argonne National Laboratory emerged as the national winner of DOE’s fourth annual CyberForce Competition in a simulcast event that took place on Saturday, Dec. 1, in Shyh Wang Hall. Students from UC Davis won the Lab’s regional competition.
Berkeley Lab’s student teams from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State University San Bernardino, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University vied against hundreds of students representing Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories in a virtual race against time to protect a simulated industrial oil pipeline control system from hackers. Berkeley Lab participated in the competition for the first time.
In the competition, student teams engaged in interactive, energy-focused scenario activities centered on cybersecurity methods, practices, strategy, policy, and ethics – all while defending their network against a team of “hackers” played by security professionals and government representatives.
“With the ever-increasing amount of technology that relies on and is accessible via the Internet, cybersecurity has become a high priority for the DOE, and it is critical that we help train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to ensure they are prepared to meet this need,” said Horst Simon, Berkeley Lab’s Deputy Director for Research.
Each national lab’s regional winner and DOE’s national winner took home a medal. All teams had the option to take home the high-performance cluster and industrial control system that they configured for the competition.
According to Brent Draney, who leads the networking and security group at NERSC and served as the Lab’s site lead in organizing the event, all students, whether they won or lost, also took home something else: real-world experience in a national lab setting. “With this event, we’re hoping to build a pipeline of students who care about cybersecurity in a national lab environment and get them inspired to work at Berkeley Lab,” he said.
Go here to read the Department of Energy’s press release on the event.
For more information:
- “University of Central Florida Wins DOE’s 2018 CyberForce Competition” (DOE news release, Dec. 3, 2018)
- “Four College Teams to Converge at Berkeley Lab for DOE CyberForce Competition” (Berkeley Lab news release, Nov. 28, 2018)