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#017-16 Midshipmen to Compete in International Cyber Challenge

  POSTED ON: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 10:52 AM by mediarelations@usna.edu

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Five U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen will compete in the international round of the 2016 Atlantic Council Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge in Geneva, Switzerland Thursday, April 7, through Friday, April 8.

The Cyber 9/12 is an annual cyber policy competition challenging students to develop national security policy recommendations in response to a fictional cyber catastrophe.

The Naval Academy's team is comprised of Midshipmen 1st Class (seniors) Zac Dannelly of Louisville, Ky., a Gates-Cambridge scholar recipient; Joe Dinkel, of West Lafayette, Ind., a Schwarzman Scholar recipient; Max Goldwasser of Atlanta, Ga., and Bill Young of Arden, N.C. These midshipmen took top honors for all undergraduate schools and 3rd place overall in the U.S. competition, which was held at American University in Washington, D.C. in March.

To make it into the national competition, the midshipmen submitted a cyber response policy paper based on a hypothetical cyber-attack scenario. From these submissions, approximately 40 teams from graduate and undergraduate schools were selected to attend the competition, including American University, Duke, Harvard, the National Intelligence University, Stanford, Brown, and Carnegie Mellon.

In a series of elimination rounds, the teams defended their recommendations to judging panels representing the National Security Council. The midshipmen team was the only undergraduate team and the first service academy team to make it through all the rounds, finishing in 3rd place behind the Air Force Command and Staff College and the National Intelligence University. As a result of their performance, the midshipmen will go on to compete and represent the U.S. Naval Academy in the Cyber 9/12 international round.

The international competition consists of 30 teams from institutions around the world, including King's College London, the Geneva School of Diplomacy, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Sciences Po Paris, Tallinn University of Technology, and the Swedish Defence University.

The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge engages students with a group of senior-level cybersecurity practitioners acting as judges, representing various sectors including government, finance, telecom, and the press. Part interactive learning experience and part competitive scenario exercise, the challenge gives students interested in cyber conflict policy an opportunity to interact with expert mentors, judges, and cyber professionals while developing valuable skills in policy analysis and presentation.


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