CyberPatriot is the premier national high school cyber defense competition that is designed to give hands on exposure to the foundations of cyber security. CyberPatriot is not a hacking competition. CyberPatriot's goal is to excite students about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
In each competition round, students are provided one to three virtual machines. These machines contain several vulnerabilities, and students must clean the image of them. The virtual machines can have Windows or GNU/Linux Operating systems. They are given a set amount of time on the competition day to do so. Teams that find the most vulnerabilities pass on to the next round, and the winners of all three rounds compete in the National Championships in Washington, D.C.
Students compete in two parallel competitions:
- Open Division (open only to an accredited public or private institution or a registered home school association)
- All Service Division (open only to JROTC, CAP and Sea Cadet Units)
CyberPatriot V Registration ends September 30, 2012
- A CyberPatriot team consists of five students and up to five alternates. Each team must have a coach, normally a teacher or JROTC, CAP, or Sea Cadet Leader.
- The coach does not have to have any technical expertise, and generally serves as an administrator for the team.
- Competitors must be at least 13 years old and enrolled in grades 9-12.
- Teams will have mentors (technical advisors) to help students prepare for the competition. CyberPatriot works with coaches to find mentors for their team.
Hardware and Software Requirements
How do I get involved?
Check out our How do you fit? page to see how to get involved with CyberPatriot.
CyberPatriot provides a comprehensive compilation of teaching material. Feel free to examine the material here.
The first CyberPatriot “games” took place in 2009, at AFA’s 25th Annual Air Warfare Symposium where seven Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) teams and one Civil Air Patrol (CAP) team from the greater Orlando area competed. As a prototype event, no one quite knew how well it would be received. But the enthusiastic responses from the competitors and the positive feedback from the surrounding industry professionals and senior military leaders demonstrated that it was an unqualified success.
For the 2009-10 school year, the competition, though still restricted to Air Force JROTC units and CAP squadrons, went nationwide, conducting three online qualification rounds for nearly 200 teams in 44 states, South Korea, and Japan.
The support from the competition’s industry-leading sponsors helps reaffirm the importance and relevance of cyber security. A generous grant from the program’s presenting sponsor, Northrop Grumman, made full national deployment possible. SAIC supplies their patent-pending software as the platform for the competition. The CIAS at the University of Texas in San Antonio (creator of the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition) provides rich instructional materials for the competition. All of these sponsors ensured that CyberPatriot became a reality for high school students nationwide.