Congratulations to the University of Virginia Cyber Defense Team, who won the Mid-Atlantic regional final competition (MACCDC) for the second year in a row! They will be advancing to the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) April 23-25, 2019 to defend their National Title (2018). As the Mid-Atlantic region includes two previous national competition champions, UVA and UMBC, the competition was very fierce. Eight teams were competing for two days. Students (i.e., the blue team) had to protect a real-world business infrastructure against highly skillful attackers (i.e., the red team) while interacting with other stakeholders such as CEOs and the executive board of the company.
Last year, our team won as first time competitors, which was previously unheard of. This year, the UVA team found a new way to rewrite the history of MACCDC. The UVA team made *the earliest red team arrest* (before the first lunch break) in the history of MACCDC. An arrest is an important component in CCDC. Beyond just protecting services, the competition also focuses on the importance of incident response in cybersecurity. During the competition, when a blue team detects an attack from the red team, they document how the attacker got in, what destruction was done, and how the team remediated the attack. The evidence and analysis reports are submitted, and if “law enforcement” can confirm the attacker’s identity (e.g., based on their IP and documented actions), they “arrest” the red team member.
The UVA team members include:
(1) Mariah Kenny (Team Captain) - coordinates the whole team, manages injects and requests, and communicates to outside stakeholders such as the CEO
(2) Conner Steenrod (Firewall / Networking Admin) - responsible for configuring and defending the network firewall and wireless access point and troubleshooting network issues
(3) Jake Smith (Windows Admin) - coordinates the Windows team, focuses on overall Windows defense strategy, and helps lead incident response measures
(4) Calvin Krist (Windows Team) - responsible for defending the Windows systems within the network
(5) Will Mayes (Windows Team) - responsible for defending the Windows systems within the network
(6) Jack McDowell* (Windows Team) - responsible for defensive security research and attack simulations
(7) Roman Bohuk (*Nix / Linux Admin) - coordinates the *Nix / Linux team, manages AWS configuration and security, and focuses on overall *Nix / Linux defense strategy
(8) Jack Verrier (*Nix / Linux Team) - responsible for defending *Nix / Linux systems on the network
(9) Daniel Chen (*Nix / Linux) - responsible for defending *Nix / Linux systems on the network (also was the team member that detected the malicious activity that leads to the record-breaking arrest!)
(10) Caroline Linkous* (*Nix / Linux) - responsible for security research and testing systems
(11) Sam Spelsberg* (*Nix / Linux) - responsible for security research and testing systems
*alternate for Regionals
Yonghwi Kwon is their faculty advisor.
What is CCDC?
CCDC is a defense-oriented competition. The students (blue team) inherit a compromised business network and are tasked with defending the network and its assets against active attackers (red team). In addition to securing and defending the network, the teams respond to business tasks and maintain a core set of "critical services" such as the business's email, website, etc.
Unlike other competitions that are more jeopardy style, like Capture the Flag (CTF), CCDC aims to test students’ abilities in real-world environments including performance under pressure while defending the network, communicating with the company stakeholders, and maintaining business continuity. It also tests students' technical communication skills such as crafting concise and precise technical reports and delivering presentations.