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Posted March 10, 2015

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CyberBears Head to D.C. to Fight Against Cyber Crime

The five-student team from La Cueva is taking part in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

Tannor Brown, Maxwell Sanchez, Kaden Nelson and Ximena Lane (not picture: James Lewis)

Hackers beware. The CyberBears are coming.

Five students from La Cueva High School are heading to Washington D.C. this week to compete in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program. La Cueva is one of only a dozen schools in the nation, and the only team from New Mexico, to take part in the cybersecurity competition, all-service division.

During the competition, seniors Ximena Lane, Maxwell Sanchez and James Lewis and juniors Tannor Brown and Kaden Nelson will take the role of IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. The team is sponsored by La Cueva teacher Sean Endler.

The teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period.

The CyberBears already competed successfully in state and regional competitions, leading to the all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. for the national competition. Students who do well in the competition not only can earn national recognition but also scholarship money.

The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created by the Air Force Association to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.

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