Cyber Gauntlet will challenge cyber proficiency of Service Academy cadets and midshipmen.

Dec 1, 2017 | Press Release

In previous years, the United States military academies’ cyber teams has competed in a DARPA funded inter-service academy competition that allowed cadets and midshipman to hone and test their cyber skills in a team-based environment.  Although this event had a great educational and training benefit to the cadets and midshipman, the DARPA contract has since come to completion.  To allow cadets and midshipman to continue to develop and benefit from such a competition, the United States Air Force Academy sought to provide another inter-service competition that not only strengthens the practical skills associated with cyber, but also complements the USAFA Department of Computer Science (DFCS)curriculum objectives.  As a result of a competitive award, Aries Security was contracted to run an Olympiad style in-person cyber competition open to all United States Service Academy cadets and midshipman. The event will be called the Cyber Gauntlet.

Cyber Gauntlet will be held at the J.W. Marriott Resort in Las Vegas, NV and is scheduled for November 17-19, 2017.  Each service academy will be represented by teams including 12 from the U.S. Air Force Academy, 8 from the U.S. Military Academy, 12 from the U.S. Naval Academy and 6 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  Each team will be supported by one or more coaches. The teams will be challenged on a broad array of events and awards will be earned for: 

Forensics Competition

This event requires competitors to do both network and host forensics. Forensic problems can incorporate a variety of systems (ex. Windows, Linux, embedded systems, etc).

Binary Reverse Engineering Competition

This event requires competitors to analyze binaries for security weaknesses and to exploit them. Binaries should incorporate a variety of operating systems (ex. Windows, Linux, embedded systems, etc).

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) & Malware Competition

This event requires detecting anomalies in outbound data to discover that network has been the target of an APT or Malware attack.

Cryptography Competition

This event offers problems that require competitors to identify and break poor implementations of cryptography. Problems should be of increasing difficulty. Competitors will be awarded points based on flag retrieved from cryptography problems.

Insider Threat / Steganography Competition

This event requires uncovering insider threats and detecting secret messages embedded within an ordinary message.


This event requires participants to bypass Tamper-Resistant or Tamper-Evident seals.

Wireless Competition

This event is a signal finding competition in which participants must locate signal broadcasting beacon(s).

Lock Picking Challenge

A physical lock picking event is a traditional component of most hacking competitions that is designed to help participants build problem solving skills and a better understanding of how to locate vulnerabilities in systems.

A critical aspect of the competition is the use of Aries Security’s Training Simulator & Skills Assessment Suite called Capture The Packet (CTP).  CTP was developed by a team of hackers for competition, and due to its acclaim, was selected as a Black Badge event at DEFCON the hacker conference held annually in Las Vegas.  In 2015, CTP was selected by the DoD Force Training Directorate to be adapted to meet the need for a competitive hacking environment as part of the overall Cyber Training Curriculum.  CTP is a portable self-contained solution that provides interactive gamified cyber training for both individual and team skills development and evaluation.

Cyber Gauntlet was developed as an Olympiad style event focusing on competitive team-based challenges that have a set topic and timeframe. Events will test a team’s technical skills, leadership, teamwork ability, strategies, and tactics.

Contact Us Today, Defend Better Tomorrow.

Aries Security wants to help you prepare for tomorrows cyber threats. Our experienced and knowledgable staff is here to guide you through the process of setting up your event, building your content or installing your range. Contact us today.

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