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CWDHS students battle in international cybersecurity competition

November 2, 2018

FERGUS, Ontario – This fall and winter, the CyberTitans of Centre Wellington DHS are battling in an international cybersecurity competition.

Students are participating in CyberPatriot, the US Air Force Association’s youth cyber education program.

CyberPatriot consists of three rounds of competition. Round one was Friday, with more than 6,300 teams from around the world competing for six continuous hours. CWDHS is the only UGDSB school participating in the challenge.

CWDHS has three teams involved, a senior team, all girls team and junior team. They will compete in rounds one and two and, depending on how they score, have the chance to advance to the CyberPatriot state finals. Depending on their results during the CyberPatriot rounds, teams could advance to compete in the Canadian CyberTitan finals.

Last year, competitors from CWDHS made it to the finals in Fredericton, finishing fifth overall in Canada.

On Friday, students tackled a variety of cybersecurity challenges. Teams received virtual image files that were infected with different viruses. They worked together to identify the bad code, write patches, and prevent hacking into their systems in real time. They are working in Windows and Linux as well as with Cisco software. Members of the team brought with them different strengths, some specializing in Windows, Linux or Cisco, some were research specialists, able to research quickly and effectively if they ran into problems.

As the CyberPatriot rounds progress, challenges get increasingly more difficult to the point of military level cyber-attacks.

Cybersecurity is a high demand occupation, said CW teacher Timothy King, with more jobs being available than there are people to fill them. Cyber-attacks have become increasingly more harmful and more common, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Past students of King’s have taken what they learned in their high school courses and pursued careers in cybersecurity in postsecondary education.

The CW students have been preparing for these competitions for the past six months and the excitement and buzz in the CW Media Lab was palpable on Friday.

Good luck to the CW teams!

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