AHS AFJROTC cadets utilize valuable technology skills during cyber defense competition

AHS AFJROTC cadets utilize valuable technology skills during cyber defense competition
Cyber SecurityIt’s only the second year they’ve competed but the Arlington High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) has already placed third in state in a cyber security defense competition. The Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot competition is part of the National Youth Cyber Education Program.

Students are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images. These tasks include maintaining and securing critical services, fixing vulnerabilities, removing malware from the systems and answering forensics questions. They are given a point for each vulnerability they fix.

“The scoring is done in real time so as we fix problems, we can see how we’re doing,” said Cadet Second Lieutenant Cody Barschaw.

Last year, the team scored third in the gold category for Washington state. This year, they moved up to the platinum category where they again placed third in the state. Their goal next year is to strive for first.

“A lot of our computer skills are self-taught,” said Cadet Master Sergeant Zechariah Rodino. “We realized that we need more training to get to that top level next year so that’s what we’re working on."