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Cadets Trade the Trenches for Firewalls

Cadets Trade the Trenches for Firewalls

The Army forces were under attack. Communications were down, and the chain of command was broken. Pacing a makeshift bunker whose entrance was camouflaged with netting, the young man in battle fatigues barked at his comrades: ˇ§They are flooding the e-mail server. Block it. Iˇ¦ll take the heat for it.ˇ¨

These are the war games at West Point, at least last month, when a team of cadets spent four days struggling around the clock to establish a computer network and keep it operating while hackers from the National Security Agency in Maryland tried to infiltrate it with methods that an enemy might use. The N.S.A. made the cadetsˇ¦ task more difficult by planting viruses on some of the equipment, just as real-world hackers have done on millions of computers around the world.

The competition was a final exam of sorts for a senior elective class. The cadets, who were computer science and information technology majors, competed against teams from the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine as well as the Naval Postgraduate Academy and the Air Force Institute of Technology. Each team was judged on how well it subdued the threats from the N.S.A.

URL: http://www.hackinthebox.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=31251

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