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UCF Wins US Department of Energy's Cyberforce Competition

The University of Central Florida beat teams from 105 universities in a contest requiring them to build, secure and defend a complex network of systems and devices used by oil companies, electric companies and others.

University of Central Florida.jpg
University of Central Florida
(TNS) — The University of Central Florida’s cybersecurity competition team won the 2021 U.S. Department of Energy Cyberforce Competition for the second year in a row.

The competition pits teams across the country against each other to stop a simulated cyber attack.

UCF beat out 119 teams from 105 universities across 33 states and the District of Columbia.

“This large, high-profile cyber competition is unique from other competitions in that it requires student teams to build, secure and defend a complex network comprised of systems and devices used by oil pipeline and drilling companies, electric companies, water treatment plants, and others,” said Tom Nedorost, the team’s coach and faculty advisor for the student cybersecurity club, Hack@UCF.

Team members included Jeffrey DiVincent, Cameron Whitehead, Caitlin Whitehead, Aiden Durand, Christopher Fischer and Matthew McKeever.

It is the fifth time UCF’s cybersecurity teams competed in the Cyberforce competition, where they always placed either first or second in the country.

UCF also secured first place four out of the last seven years at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition sponsored by Raytheon and a spot among the top three teams at the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition sponsored by IBM in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

“This year marked the strongest CyberForce Competition yet,” said Amanda Joyce, CyberForce Program director and cybersecurity analysis group lead at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory. “We continue to work on developing the growing cyber workforce through the CyberForce Program, and every year it amazes me how many student competitors we see a return to participate either as a student team member or as a volunteer. It’s great to see that CyberForce really makes a lasting impression.”

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