HHS ROTC cadets battle hackers, viruses
Five Hahnville High School students will take part in a cyber security competition next week. The winning team members get up to $50,000 in scholarships.
And while the threats aren’t real, they take their job pretty seriously.
The students, all part of the school’s junior ROTC program, are preparing for the nation’s largest youth cyber security competition, which offers a chance to win college scholarship money and a free trip to Washington, D.C.
CyberPatriot, presented by Northrop Grumman, is a one-of-a-kind national cyber security competition produced by the Air Force Association (AFA), a nonprofit organization headquartered near Washington, D.C. This competition will help students learn first hand about the cyber security field and introduce many to the idea of cyber security as a profession.
Led by Coach Tom Graffeo, the Hahnville High School team, comprised of Air Force JROTC members, will virtually compete against hundreds of teams around the nation. CyberPatriot now has more than 500 teams registered and continues to attract high school educators across the country.
Last year, Hahnville’s first in the program, the team finished 34th out of 200 teams. This year, they are gunning for the top prize.
“We had been preparing for Windows XP last year and they switched to Windows 2000 on us in the last second,” Graffeo said. “We did pretty good for having to wing it, but this year we are more prepared.”
The competition takes the form of a game that consists of four rounds. In the first two rounds, the schools must block hackers from entering their server for eight straight hours each round. In the third round, which takes place in Orlando, the team must keep hackers out of three computers, and in the final round, which is in Washington, D.C., they must keep their computers safe from the final four teams while also trying to infiltrate their competitors.
Members of the winning team receive college scholarships worth up to $50,000.
“It’s all or nothing,” Graffeo said. “But cyber security is so important nowadays and this really shows these young kids how to stop it. Even the CIA and FBI are infiltrated by talented hackers, so a lot of places are looking to hire those that are skilled in cyber security.”
Graffeo’s team practices every Monday after school and has received help from talented IT students along the way.
“We have some really good IT students here who have shown us some things, and we also practice at preparing for several different scenarios,” Graffeo said.
The first round begins on Oct. 23.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
After only one season, Boutte-resident Kip Benoit’s reality TV series about hunting...
Destrehan resident Bruce Bourgeois Jr., who is accused of stabbing his live-in...
After nearly 90 years in business, during which time only one family has owned and...
Retired U.S. Army Lt. General Russel Honoré is front and center in the brewing...
Luling’s Rathborne Park remains closed until Saturday, Sept. 13 while St. Charles...
The Hahnville Tigers left everything they had out on the field, but it was not...
Southwest Funding, LP Branch #920 (NMLS 32139) is your local mortgage company caring about your personal mortgage needs for all purchasing, refinancing, and reverse mortgages. All credit and employment considered.
Young QB leads Destrehan to blowout win over Helen Cox - 851 views
In only his second game as a starter, Destrehan sophomore quarterback Marquise Darensbourg threw two touchdowns and ran for another in the first half of the Wildcats’ 48-7 win over Helen Cox on Friday.