Cyber Aces Championship Season kicks off in Illinois and Virginia.

The 2014 Cyber Aces State Championship season kicked off on March 1 and 2nd with events in Illinois and Virginia. Illinois got things started on March 1, 2014,with 100 cyber ninjas at Moraine Valley Community College. 8 high school students, 26 college students, 12 military veterans, 1 active military, and 53 adults demonstrated their cyber skills in NetWars - the same hands-on defense simulation used by the U.S. military to train its officers in network warfare.

Illinois’ state champions, from first to third place, were Michael Thompson of Chicago, Eric Tendian, a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Julian Makas of Niles.

Media coverage for the IL championship included the Chicago Tribune’s article “Illinois hacking competition draws cybersecurity sleuths of tomorrow”. The article highlights veterans’ participation in Cyber Aces. Read the full article here

The Cyber Aces State Championship in Virginia was held at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on March 2nd, and 58 participants competed for top honors. 32 high school students, 15 college students, 2 military veterans and 9 adults attended the championship. Virginia’s top performers, from first to third place, were Caleb Spence of Midlothian, Bruce Blair of Virginia Beach and Lloyd Jones of Radford.

In both states, the top three performers earned scholarships totaling $10,000.

“There are too many frequent flyers and not enough fighter pilots,” said Cyber Aces Founder Alan Paller, Department of Homeland Security Task Force on Cybersecurity Co-Chair and SANS Institute Director of Research. “We need a new group of cyber defenders who can out-think and out-maneuver attackers.” “In two years, these participants can build the skills that will make them some of the most sought-after candidates on the job market,” added Paller.