California Mayors Cyber Cup (CMCC) is a state-wide competition and coordinated experience and exposure for students of middle and high school age. Open to schools and youth organizations the overarching goal is to provide a safe environment and allow the students to truly explore all facets of cyber. Unlike other competitions which focus on a contained occurrence via downloaded images or other mechanisms, the CMCC competition will use the Sentek Global Haiku Range – one of the same ranges that is used by our military and government agency representatives to practice and hone their cyber skills.
Designed to accommodate field-ready environments, a simple Internet connection and browser on a “dumb terminal” or mobile device is all that is needed to access the Haiku Range. Thanks to our platform providers, Amazon Web Services lends the power of cloud computing to the competition, so teams in rural areas have the same access as those teams in the technology rich Silicon Valley and other regions of the state.
Understanding the fact that it is rare for one individual to address all threat vectors, the CMCC scenario will provide a rich environment for the tech-savvy students, as well as those students with a desire for things like governance and human factors/behavior. The novice cyber defender will find as much excitement as the experienced competitor and they will all quickly learn it takes a team to succeed.
Probably the most important part of this competition is the team’s willingness to explore and delve into areas they have not experience before. Beginner or seasoned competitor – there is something for everyone who chooses to participate in the CMCC and it is only the beginning for those that do, to an exciting career pathway.
The Game Scenario
The National Electric Regulatory Commission (NERC) has just been notified by the U.S. Cyber Command that communications have been intercepted stating a plot to take down the national electric grid within an unspecified period. It is believed that the window is narrow, and perceptions are that actions will take place within the next 48-hour period. The threat has been deemed credible, and the President has been notified. Only “need-to-know” organizations have been notified, as the nation’s leadership does not want wide-spread panic to set-in. As a secure and trusted team, the National Infragard has been notified, as well as Chapter heads. It is an all-hands effort to stop these bad-actors before the grid goes down and life across America changes forever.
You are an important part of an elite task-force that must find, suppress, and kill the commands planted on eleven machines from points across the globe to make America Dark. Unfortunately, you do not have any idea out of the thousands of machines controlling the grid, which ones are key to taking it down. Your task is to stop this lead bad-actor and his global team from being successful within the next four hours. Good luck. The nation is depending on you!
Team Preparation – Study Guide
Preparing Young Minds is an important step in any competition. In preparation for the California Mayors Cyber Cup (CMCC) we can recommend the online sites listed below for the students. Specific training materials for the Competition will be made by within the first week of the new year, 2019.
Explore and Ask questions is also important for them to understand leading cyber hygiene practices such as application updates, not sharing passwords and tips that can be found in NetCetra. The practices shared in this booklet are not only important to students, but to all families.
Cyber Range will be open for practice starting February 4th – 10th.
Haiku Cyber Range Tutorials Learn the basics of cybersecurity as well as more advanced techniques from world-class professionals.
“Ninety-two percent of all incidents are, and 84 percent of all data breaches were unintentional or inadvertent in nature.”
~Privacy Advisor, Jun 26, 2018
Team and Host Requirements
How Teams Get Started
Teams are formed by interested students and a sponsoring organization such as a school, Boys & Girls Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, YMCA or other youth-based organization. Each team must have an adult that will help guide them through the experience, and no, the adults do not have to have a technical background. We encourage parents to consider helping with their child and his/her friends. The adults working directly with the students will become known as the team coach.
About the Coach
Coaches are the adult interface with all team activities and coordination. They are our single point of contact for communications about the California Mayors Cyber Cup and all related activities. Coaches will be required to register their team via an on-line Google form. Contact details, including preferred phone number, email address and more will be part of the required information supplied by each coach for their team(s). Coaches may come from academic institutions, (K-12 or Higher Education), the business community, or other organization/government entity.
About the Experience
The experience for many students will be the first time they look deep into the internal workings of computer security and what makes it really work. They will learn in a safe environment where serious mistakes are all part of the learning process. Team work is a key element of the competition and an understanding that there is much more to cyber security than “coding.” In fact, it is typically at the point of the human interface where most breaches occur; both unintentional and inadvertent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the cost?
No charge for teams
Which region should I participate in?
The regions are defined by the California Community College regions and are based primarily on County. For Los Angeles, we have added an additional region “South Los Angeles” to accommodate more teams. If you are part of LAUSD or in the Northwest region of LA county, you should compete in the Los Angeles regional competition at East LA College. If you are non-LAUSD and are located along the west and south ends of LA County, you should participate in the South Los Angeles competition at Long Beach Community College.
For SLO, Santa Barbara, Ventura counties, along with the Antelope Valley, you should select the “South Central Coast” region at Moorpark College.
How many teams can I bring?
The limitation on number of teams per school or program varies by regional competition. Regions that have a large number of existing teams will be limited to one team per school or program. Smaller regions may allow coaches to bring up to 3 teams. Please check with your regional contact to find out what the limit is for your region.
How many students per team?
Teams are 3 – 6 players.
Do I need to register my students?
Yes, registration for individual team members will be required. Student registration will open by mid January.
What paperwork is required?
All coaches will need to complete a Livescan and background check (paid for by synED) and students will need to have liability and media release forms signed by parents.
Are there any prerequisites?
There are no prerequisites to participating in the CMCC. New teams are encouraged to participate and the competition is designed for all levels.
Can middle schools participate?
Yes, middle school teams may participate, but they will compete alongside the high school teams. We will recognize the top middle school team at each regional competition.
Can college schools participate?
No, the 2019 CMCC is for high school and middle school students only.
Is there funding for transportation?
California Cyberhub is not funding transportation. However, if your team requires funding for transportation, the regional team can attempt to find a funding source for you.