What is the Manitoba High School Cyber Defence Challenge?

The High School Cyber Defense Challenge was modelled after CyberPatriot in the United States to excite, educate, and motivate the next generation of cyber defenders and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

To give a general idea, the CDC is a High School Network Defence Competition, with each team comprising of up to 5 high school students.

Once schools become part of the CDC, the students receive training in Cyber Security. Periodically, teams will get together virtually to compete in defending a virtual network. CDC is not about teaching students how to hack computers, but is about teaching students about Cyber-Security. The first official CDC in Canada took place in Winnipeg on February 11, 2012. Four high schools with six teams competed to determine the first official CDC winner in Canada. Now we hope to grow the competition here in Canada, starting with more teams in Manitoba then eventually to other provinces.

Recent Posts

Scoring Breakdown

2014-01-09 12:24:58 admin

With the big competition being about 6 weeks away, our competing teams are hard at work training to take home the title of CDC 2014 Champions. They will be fighting for glory, bragging rights and self satisfaction.

And now we have the official 2014 Cyber Defence Challenge Competition Scoring Breakdown:

Teams will be scored out of 3000.

1/3 Cyber Defence

1/3 CTF

1/3 Presentations

Meaning 1000 points in each category.

Breaking it down a little bit further… 600 points will go towards Windows challenges. 400 points for open source or other challenges.


Speaking of 600 points for Windows challenges… Saturday morning (11th) from 9:30-11:30 am there will be Windows Server Security training at SkullSpace (374 Donald St.) Aemilianus Kehler will be dropping tons of hints on how you can be sure to collect all 600 of those points! Email info@skullspace.ca to RSVP because we will be capping this event at 50 people.

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CDC Event

2013-12-14 13:42:10 admin

Title: CDC Event
Location: Red River College – Princess Campus
Description: There will be attacks. There will be curve balls. There will be 20 teams from across Canada competing for the title of Cyber Defence Challenge 2014 Champions. There will also be presentations.

Start Time: 08:00
Date: 2014-02-20
End Time: 16:00

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2013-04-29 20:47:43 admin

29 APR 2013


I. The Situation:

Congratulations and welcome to Red River College (RRC)! You have decided to participate in the High School Cyber Defense Challenge (CDC).  The CDC was modeled after CyberPatriot in the United States and is deigned to excite, educate and motivate you – the next generation of cyber defenders. Unlike the CyberPatriot event in the United States, this event is primarily designed to be an event driven, time constrained, full-spectrum  cyber defence challenge. The challenges are varied, providing real-life  cyber defence opportunities taken from some of the most serious incidents in the past year. On behalf of the CDC committee, our sponsors and the SkullSpace (SKSP) Red Team we wish you the best of luck and remind you to have fun, even when things seem to be going crazy.

II. The Mission:

As a CDC participant you will receive specific instruction from your Chief Information Officer and SKSP Red Team Members as the event unfolds, these resources will be referred to as Directing Staff (DS). As with other CDC competitions, the primary focus is to secure the environment. Secondary tasks will be event driven by your DS. Your DS is present to support and help you move forward in the competition.

III. The Outline:

A. Overview: The intent of this CDC event is to provide a controlled environment for you to exercise your cyber defence capabilities. The virtual environment for each team is identical, except for some cosmetic changes the event designers included. The score of the event is both qualitative (what you do) and quantitative (how much you do). The event is designed to challenge team members with security skills at a basic, intermediate and advanced level. The success criteria and end-state for the event are to have each team successfully complete all four phases of the competition.

B. Concept of the CDC: The DS is responsible to ensure that all activities during the completion facilitate team progress. Various events will happen over the course of the competition. You are required to ensure problems are brought to the DS in a timely manner. The event seeks to ensure a competitive environment, but also provide an opportunity for collaborative problem-solving and learning. The DS staff can provide hints and coaching as expert-level  resources and will do so when they feel it’s appropriate. Teams will not be penalized by DS guidance, hints and injects.

C. The Tasks of CDC are broken into four Phases:

Phase 1 – CDC Staff Welcome, introduction, orientation, DS Team instruction for Phase 1 of Competition, Report Phase 1 Progress to DS.
Phase 2 – DS Instruction for Phase 2 of Competition, Report Phase 2 Progress to DS
Phase 3 – DS Instruction for Phase 3 of Competition, Report Phase 3 Progress to DS
Phase 4 – Score and Closing Ceremonies

D. The Time Line of  CDC Event Phases:

10 May 13 17:00 to 20:00 – CDC Event Setup

Event Begins 09:00 11 May 13 with a CDC event briefing in Main Theatre at RRC Princess Street Campus

Phase 1 – 10:00 to 11:30
Lunch -    11:30 to 12:15
Phase 2 – 12:15 to 14:00
Break -     14:00 to 14:30
Phase 3 – 14:30 to 16:00
Phase 4 – 16:00 to 17:00

IV. Administration Requirements:

A. Hardware: This is a Bring-Your-Own-Device event. Laptops will NOT be provided. Participants are encouraged to have an event ready laptop. Workstations are discouraged due to RRC power requirements. Windows XPSP3 or more recent Operating System is strongly encouraged, Open Source (Linux) and Apple OS laptops are all supported (subject to the availability of the software requirements below), A RJ-45 network connection jack (or dongle) is a mandatory requirement. A power supply for your laptop is a mandatory requirement, A 3m length RJ-45 patch cable is a mandatory requirement. An additional power bar is suggested for each team.

B. Software: Most of the virtual event systems are reachable with Windows Remote Desktop access or SSH/Telnet via Putty. You will need this software installed on your laptop. Anti-Virus software and being up to date with Operating System and application patches and updates is recommended. Other network tools are at your discretion.

C. Network Connection: It is recommended that while at RRC, you disable your wireless access. Based upon the architecture of the competition, RRC’s wireless network may slow down your network performance in the event environment.

D. Conduct: In general, each DS member located at your table will, throughout the game will briefly look at the software installed on your laptop and determine if any of it is forbidden.  Automated vulnerability assessment tools such as Microsoft’s Base Line Security Advisor, Nessus, LAN Guard, etc. are strictly prohibited. You will be asked to remove these tools, if you refuse, you will be asked to leave the competition. Visual Basic Scripts and Active Directory Security templates are in bounds. However, if you are not 100% certain, of how they work, you may find you have broken your access to the machine and will be subject to a penalty.

E. Attitude: Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manor as they would at a school sanctioned event. DS will be responsible for reporting any incident involving an attitude issue to the appropriate High School CDC school representative. Please be aware that media, technology executives and other interested parties will be in attendance.

F. Penalty: It is expected that security mistakes will happen, and a high school team may lose the ability to connect to a machine. The DS staff may be engaged to re-establish access; however, they will take an hour to do this process. Keep in mind, that if an Administrative Password is changed and forgotten the DS will need to escalate to the Architecture staff to re-provision the VM. This process could take a considerably longer time than one hour and result in a fresh, un-fixed machine all changes will be lost.

G. Documentation: Participants will be expected to create a short power point presentation to brief the appropriate DS member after phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 of the competition. It is highly recommended that your team come equipped with at least one USB drive/memory stick, a few blank CD/DVD media and pens, paper and notebooks. Physical paper books on IT Security are not allowed, however, students can access those resources online if they so desire.

H. Over the course of event downtime on the virtual IT systems is to be minimal. Seek direction from your DS member if you are contemplating, disabling, removing or uninstalling services from the target infrastructure. The primary business service role of the target must be considered at all times. A web server must still function as a web server, a file and printer server must still be able to function, etc. If you are unsure please ask your DS member for direction.

V. Additional Resources:

A. Your primary resource for this event is the DS member located at your table. He or She should be able to help on any request or issue. The DS member is responsible to escalate your issue to the appropriate CDC event staff if she or he cannot deal with it.

B. Questions can be addressed to info (at) cyberdefencechallenge.ca

C. Over the course of the game, a CDC real-time competition website will be made available to you. This website will provide you with the latest information about the progress of the competition and offer hints as the event unfolds. The URL will be provided as part of the briefing at 09:00.

D. Good luck is a residue of preparation.

29 APR 2013


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2013-04-28 23:17:32 admin

WINNIPEG – The final best tests for the Canadian Cyber Defence Challenge (CDC) high school competition took place this afternoon, April 28, 2013 at SkullSpace Winnipeg Inc.. The beta tests are a critical phase to preparing the CDC system for the upcoming provincial competition event which is to be held on Saturday, May 11th at Red River College, 160 Princess Street. The CDC technical support team has been hard at work over the past four months developing the system – which is the first customized cybersecurity simulation system of its kind designed exclusively for high school and post-secondary students in Canada. As part of the best test, students from the participating high schools that will be competing at this year’s challenge event were invited to “road test” the system under the watchful eye of the CDC support team. So far all of the high schools that will be competing have had the opportunity to participate in the beta test. Today’s beta test included members from the team at Garden Valley Collegiate in Winker, MB.

The beta tests provide an opportunity for students and volunteers to simulate the competition environment, ironing out any kinks in the network and challenges. During these simulations, students have the direct support of the CDC event administrators, and the environment serves as a learning laboratory to assess and test the limits of the system. The CDC event administrators have the opportunity to assess the quality and complexity of the system while the students work through the simulation and provide their comments and feedback. The CDC reviews the comments and feedback and then makes the necessary adjustments. Over the course of three beta tests, seven teams have provided valuable feedback to the CDC event administrators. In addition to the beta tests, the CDC introduced a new website that will provide the participants with up-to-the-minute  information and hints that will be helpful them during  the competition.  Over the course of three beta tests, seven teams have provided valuable feedback to the CDC event administrators. Participant feedback has been generally positive, with a couple of small bugs that will be worked out before the competition event on May 11th.

Highlights from this year’s competition include, securing networks from cyber attacks, gathering of hidden electronic evidence and defending a network from cyber-attack. Students will be expected to engage as professional IT Security teams working for a company that has a number of IT Security-related  risks and vulnerabilities. The CDC event will be open to the public. Throughout the day, a variety of industry speakers will take to the stage to discuss the structure of the competition, cyber safe practices and the favorable outlook/demand for trained security professionals in Canada.

The CDC is grateful for the many key sponsors that contributed resources and expertise to develop this program, including our three foundation professional organizations – CIPS Manitoba, ISACA Winnipeg, and ISC² Manitoba/Saskatchewan Chapter. The CDC appreciates the list of sponsors and the support of the IT community, including McAfee, Merlin, Daemon Defence, Dell, MTS Allstream, Seccuris, and PCGI Consulting. The CDC is especially grateful to SkullSpace Winnipeg Inc. for use of their facility and the support and dedication of their members who contributed hundred’s of volunteer hours throughout the CDC development and implementation lifecycle.

For more information, please contact:

Kerry Augustine, CDC President, Phone: (204) 296-4201, Email: Kerry@cyberdefencechallenge.ca
Sarah LaCroix, CDC Media Relations, Phone (204) 430-0306, Email: media@cyberdefencechallenge.ca


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Safe Online Train the Trainer Seminar

2013-02-13 21:03:40 admin

Cyber Defence Challenge a consortia of members of education, CIPS, ISC², and ISACA has developed a multi-faceted program that incorporates the educational awareness components. The mission of CDC is to build strong public/private partnerships that create and implement broad reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems, and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cyber security.

With the support of McAfee, CDC is providing a workshop for the community to gain the skills to educate others. McAfee will provide the content, materials and volunteer training; you deliver the presentation in 30- to 55-minute sessions (depending on grade level) to the school/ community centre/ seniors home/ work place of your choice. Using materials based on the STOP. THINK. CONNECT™ awareness campaign created by the National Cyber Security Alliance, CDC volunteers will help children/ public in our communities recognize and avoid online risks to stay safe and have positive experiences online.

If you are interested in being a volunteer for the program, go here:

Are you interested in having a presentation at your community club, organization or school? Here is the link: https://www.quickbase.com/db/bg6329aa3?a=gennewrecord

Want to Contact Mac about the Online Safety Program:







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