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Press Release | April 19, 2013

Air Force Win's NSA's 13th Annual Test of Cyber Defense

Abstract photograph of person typing code

The U.S. Air Force Academy won this year's Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), gaining its fourth trophy - and its first consecutive victory - since the annual competition began in 2001.

The cybersecurity skills and ingenuity of students from the U.S. service academies, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Royal Military College of Canada were put to the test by the National Security Agency's top information assurance professionals. NSA's Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) sponsors the annual event.

"CDX offers an unparalleled opportunity for some of the nation's top students to showcase their cyber skills to NSA's leading practitioners," said Neal Ziring, IAD's Technical Director. "America increasingly needs professionals with highly technical cyber skills to help the country remain safe and adapt with greater agility. We need the best and brightest to help us defeat our adversaries' new ideas."

Photograph of CDX participant's face while he concentrates

Cyber warriors who assess and defend the U.S. government's most sensitive communication systems challenged the ability of service academy teams to protect networks designed, built, and configured at the students' respective schools. Working at Lockheed Martin's facility in Hanover, Md., another group of specialists graded each team's ability to effectively maintain network services while detecting, responding to, and recovering from security intrusions or compromises. The entire April 16-18 exercise was conducted on virtual private networks.

Teams from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy competed for this year's CDX Trophy. NSA announced the winner on Friday, April 19.


CDX Trophy Winners Over the Years

Date CDX Winner
2001 U.S. Military Academy (USMA)
2002 USMA
2003 U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA)
2004 U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA)
2005 U.S. Naval Academy (USNA)
2006 USAFA
2007 USMA
2008 USMA
2009 USMA
2010 USNA
2011 USMA
2012 USAFA
2013 USAFA