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    (EMAILWIRE.COM, April 15, 2008 ) San Antonio - Texas A&M University looks to defend their National Champions title against five teams when the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) takes place April 18-20 at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel. The 3rd annual NCCDC is being hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio's Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), a nationally recognized leader in cyber security education and research.

    The CCDC program has grown from five participating schools in 2005 to 56 schools in 2008 with six regional competitions taking place nationwide. The 2008 national competition features the 2007 defending champions, Texas A&M University, along with Baker College of Flint, Michigan, the Community College of Baltimore County, Mt. San Antonio College of Los Angeles County, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Louisville. The participants advanced to the National CCDC after winning regional competitions against opposing teams in the Southwest, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West Coast Regions.

    The CCDC program is sponsored in part through donations from leading businesses in the communications and information technology industries.

    "AT&T has always put an emphasis on technology and education," said AT&T president, Western Region, John T. Montford. "We are proud to support the NCCDC's competition that encourages students to find new and innovative ideas that benefit companies like AT&T and partner with UTSA to work toward an ever-advancing field of network security."

    The CCDC program is the first cyber defense competition allowing teams of full-time collegiate students from across the country to apply their information assurance and information technology education in a competitive environment. While similar to other cyber defense competitions, CCDC competitions are unique because they focus on business operations and incorporate the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. The teams will inherit an "operational" network from a fictional business complete with e-mail, Web sites, data files, and users.

    "We had many visiting faculty members benefit from last year's national competition as they experienced first-hand what it would be like to have to protect a company's infrastructure in a hostile Internet environment," said Greg White, director of UTSA's CIAS. "Some of the faculty even changed their instructional programs as a result of lessons learned from the competition."

    Each team will be required to correct problems on their network, perform typical business tasks, and defend their networks from a red team that generates live, hostile activity throughout the competition. The teams will be scored on their performance in those three areas and the team with the highest score at the end of the competition will be the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Champion.

    "Acronis is proud to once again be sponsoring such an important event," said Stephen Lawton, Acronis' senior director of strategic marketing. "Tomorrow's IT leaders need to understand not only networking's best practices, but also be able to take emerging technologies and create new best practices. These are among the best and the brightest up-and-coming network administrators in the country. While Acronis is expert at restoring failed systems, these are the administrators who must be expert at disaster prevention."

    Donated hardware and software from leaders in the IT industry is used during the competition to provide students with the opportunity to work with technologies they would never see in a typical classroom environment.

    "Up and coming network administrators and IT leaders are expanding their level of expertise and awareness at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Core Security Technologies is proud to sponsor an event that helps prepare the students for what they will experience beyond the typical classroom setting, helping them reach their full potential," said Mike Yafee of Core Security.

    The National CCDC is being sponsored in part through donations and volunteer support from the AT&T Foundation (, Department of Homeland Security (, Cisco Systems (, Acronis (, Northrop Grumman (, Accenture (, the Information Systems Security Association (, Core Security (, ThinkGeek (, Code Magazine (, and Pepsi (

    For more information please visit or contact the CIAS at 210-458-2118 or via email at

    2008 National CCDC Schedule

    Friday, April 18
    1-7:30 p.m. Day One

    Saturday, April 19
    9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Day Two

    Sunday, April 20
    9-11:30 a.m. Day Three
    12:30-2:30 p.m. Formal Awards Luncheon


    . Established in 2001, UTSA's CIAS leverages San Antonio's infrastructure assurance strengths and bolsters research and educational initiatives in the field. The multidisciplinary research center is a partnership between academia, the information technology security industry and the local Air Intelligence Agency. CIAS addresses the technical and policy issues of information assurance and security and provides educational training.

    . In 2002-2003, UTSA's CIAS led the highly successful Dark Screen cyber terrorism exercise for San Antonio bringing national attention as the first city in the nation to conduct a cyber security exercise.

    . Over the last three years, UTSA's CIAS has been awarded more than $8 million through Defense Appropriations to support community Cybersecurity Defend and Attack Exercises and Infrastructure Assurance and Security Research.

    . UTSA's CIAS personnel have conducted exercises for the various critical infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Centers as well as for states and communities around the nation

    . In February 2008, UTSA CIAS personnel participated in the Department of Homeland Security's CyberStorm II National Cyber Security Exercise in Washington D.C.

    . UTSA was the first Texas university with the national "Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" designation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA). The designation means UTSA's curriculum and faculty meet or exceed national standards to teach information-assurance security.


    This press release was issued through GroupWeb EmailWire.Com. For more information on press release distribution, go to

    The University of Texas at San Antonio
    Kris Rodriguez
    (210) 458-5116


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