CyberPatriots head to nat’l semifinals

CyberPatriots head to nat’l semifinals

When the South Aiken High NJROTC cadets approached their first national CyberPatriot competition in October, the expectations of unit commander Larry Laughlin and volunteer coach Randy Coleman were fairly modest. After all, none of the students – including Coleman’s son Zachary – had previous experience in the computer-based cyber security games that CyberPatriot is all about. Yet the ROTC cadets have emerged after three rounds as one of 12 teams headed to the national all-service semifinals in Orlando, Fla., in February. “These are talented kids,” said Randy Coleman. “It’s a pleasant surprise, as we didn’t expect them to make it this far.” Zachary Coleman, the team captain, will be making the trip with teammates Chris Franklin, Matt Bauerlin, Josh Huffines, Anthony Distasio, Cody Wilkins, Mark Reboul and Josh Livingston. At Orlando, the top five teams in that round will move on to the national championship in Maryland next April. In the third round held earlier this month, the contest rules were elevated for the online competition. The South Aiken cadets had three computers, and each machine was confronted with 10 viruses or other malevolent issues that had to be dealt with. “Two of the computers were Windows, and the other was Linux,” said Bauerlin. “We had six hours to find all the vulnerabilities.”

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