As technology in large businesses progress, the need for internet security has become necessary. That’s one of the things that the Cyber Patriots team does.
Cyber Patriots is a team who competes in competitions to protect computers. “It’s network security, so you know there’s hackers, and the way that hacking works is you connect to the computer and control things on the computer through backdoors and vulnerabilities in the computer or in the network,” said Adam Klein, junior and member of Cyber Patriots. “I personally work on the network side. So all of the devices that enable your internet connection, I make sure that hackers can’t get into those.”
This is the seventh year that Cyber Patriots has been at HR. Last year was the first year the team had made it to nationals. This year they only have one returning member because last years team was all seniors. “ I was just happy to get new teams. I had no idea we would be contenders to go to nationals,” said Nicky DeBolt, Cyber Patriots Advisor.
Every competition the team is given a virtual network and a set of virtual computers to secure. Part of the team works on Ubuntu, part of the team works on virtual Windows computers, and part of the team works on Cisco. “The Air Force association gives us computer images that have already been compromised, so there might already be hacking software installed on them or they’ve already been hacked so there’s vulnerabilities and we have 6 hours to secure the system,” said DeBolt.
They are then scored by how many vulnerabilities they can secure. The virtual computers are scored as the competition is happening, and the network part that Klein works on takes a few days to be scored.
The team meets and learns more and more about network security and competes in competitions around once a month. They have industry mentors come in and help them learn new things.
They will be attending Nationals once again this year where they will try to secure computers that are being actively hacked by people at the competition.
Lexi Crea, Staff Reporter