Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MDDF Supports 2014 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

By COL (MDDF) Gary Stoneburner
23 April 2014

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) led a multi-component military unit in support of the National CyberWatch Center’s 2014 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. The competition held during March 28th and 29th was the mid-Atlantic regional event of a national competition whose sponsors include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the National Science Foundation, the US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), and the US Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). In its ninth year, this event allowed college students in cyber related fields to test their experience and training by defending against a highly-capable team of cyber attackers.

This year’s competition scenario had eight area college teams. Each team defended their own computer network simulating the information technology essential for county aid distribution as part of Maryland’s emergency response to a devastating blizzard. Responding to the simulated devastation was compounded by a simulated cyber attack by a fictitious terrorist organization. The teams were scored in large part on their ability to keep their network operational despite cyber attacks. An outstanding group of cybersecurity professionals served during the competition as the red team simulating the “terrorist hackers.”

Col. (MDDF) Gary Stoneburner, the MDDF Chief Information Officer and Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Technology and Communications, led the military team comprised of members of the MDDF, the Maryland Army National Guard (MDARNG) Computer Network Defense team, the Maryland Air National Guard (MDANG) Cyber Warfare Squadron, and US Navy reservists with SPAWAR. The military team established a simulated Maryland Military Department (MILDEP) Computer Defense Operation Center (CDOC) that worked with the college teams in defending their emergency management networks as the notional CDOC might assist Maryland state agencies in responding to cyber attacks. Col. (MDDF) Stoneburner, commented that, “The exercise was a great learning opportunity for the college students as future cyber professionals and it also served as an outstanding training opportunity for our military team.” “We look forward to participating in this event for many years to come.”

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, communications, cyber security, information technology, finance, medical, chaplain, field support, and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: