A team of students from Texas A&M University competed in the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge on March 17-18, 2017. The Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge aims “to provide students across academic disciplines with a deeper understanding of the policy challenges associated with cyber crisis and conflict” (Atlantic Council). The teams were asked to analyze and respond to realistic, evolving cyberattacks and the threats it poses.
This year’s fictional situation described a Chinese cyberattack that spread to the US financial institutions, one of which decided to hack back. In this scenario, the hacking back may have affected devices, including medical devices, that could have caused medical crises, and perhaps deaths, in China. Each team was then tasked with giving a ten minute briefing of their policy recommendations to be judged by high-level cyber professionals.
The 2017 Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge consisted of 45 teams from across the United States. The Texas A&M team, headed by Dr. Andrew Ross, was one of 24 teams that advanced to the semi-final round. Dr. Daniel Ragsdale, one of the team’s coaches stated that “the students from the Bush School represented Texas A&M in the most positive light. Their presentations were well received by all of the judges and received almost exclusively favorable feedback.”