CyberWatch West member school Highline College organized the first International Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Invitational (ICCDCI) in June 2017, bringing together teams from four colleges for friendly collaboration and competition.

Teams from the University of Central Florida, Brigham Young University, and Namibia University of Science and Technology traveled to the Des Moines, Washington, campus; the Politeknik Negeri team from Medan, Indonesia, participated remotely.

Patterned after the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, the ICCDCI competition asked teams to defend the network for the fictional company “AutonoSafe” from a “Red Team” of malicious hackers.

Because one of the goals of the event was to promote collaboration between cybersecurity students from different countries, teams were recognized for exceptional performance in a variety of areas, rather than one overall winner being selected.

Photo of all the 2017 ICCDCI competitors gathered at Highline College
All the 2017 ICCDCI competitors gathered at Highline College

Brigham Young University’s team was awarded “Best Remediation,” for successfully figuring out how the Red Team penetrated the system, kicking them out, and preventing them from getting back in, as well as “Best Inject Score.” The University of Central Florida was recognized for “Best Uptime,” and Namibia University of Science and Technology received “Best Professionalism.”

There was a collective gasp when participants learned the president and vice president of Highline College’s team, which built the event, were both still completing their Associate of Applied Science degrees. Participants also said they were impressed that the event was so well run in its first year.

Dr. Amelia Phillips, a tenured faculty member in Highline’s CIS/CS Department, traveled to Namibia in October to assist with that country’s third National Cybersecurity Competition. She said she hopes to also be able to support the creation of the first national competition in Indonesia, and that the next ICCDCI will be held overseas.




To support the formation of new CyberPatriot teams, CyberWatch West will pay the $205 registration fee for a limited number of northwest Washington high school teams participating for the first time in 2017-18.

High school teams must meet the following criteria to be considered for registration fee sponsorship:

  • The online application form below must be received by CyberWatch West on or before Friday, September 22, 2017. 
  • High school must be located in northwest Washington state.
  • High school must be an educational member of CyberWatch West. (See information on free memberships for high schools.)
  • Team must be the first team from that specific high school to participate in CyberPatriot. 
  • Team must have a designated coach, an adult (typically a teacher) approved by the participating high school to act as the team's administrative lead. (See the CyberPatriot website for details about the coach's responsibilities.)
  • The coach is expected to have identified at least four students interested in participating before Wednesday, October 4, 2017, which is the deadline for coaches to register their teams with CyberPatriot.  


Teams will be notified by Friday, September 29, whether they have been selected for CyberPatriot registration fee sponsorship. CyberWatch West will provide selected high school teams with a purchase order number to use when registering their teams with CyberPatriot by Wednesday, October 4, 2017. 

Please note:

  • CyberPatriot typically waives the $205 registration fee for teams representing Title I schools; for all-girl teams; and for JROTC/CAP/Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams. 
  • Coaches who are new to the CyberPatriot program must complete the Volunteer Registration form on the CyberPatriot website to obtain a username and password before the October 4 deadline for registering new teams. A username and password are necessary to access the Volunteer Dashboard, where coaches officially register their teams.  


Note: Applications are no longer being accepted for CyberPatriot team registration sponsorship. 




CyberWatch West is organizing three information sessions in northwest Washington in late August 2017 to introduce high school students, parents, and teachers to the CyberPatriot program, the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States. 

Dr. Dan Manson of Cal Poly Pomona will present on how high schools can form teams and get started. 

Seating at these free events is limited; thank you for registering in advance. 


This event is not officially affiliated with CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program, including the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, created by the Air Force Association (AFA). 



Think you're up on all the student cyber defense competitions out there? Don't be too sure. A new international competition and a second annual statewide competition are hitting the West Coast this summer.

CyberWatch West and Highline College in Des Moines, WA, are launching the first International Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational (ICCDI) June 20–22, 2017, on the Highline campus.

The ICCDI will bring together approximately ten student teams along with at least two faculty members from nations around the world to participate in the cyber competition. Invitations have thus far been extended to institutions in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Dr. Amelia Phillips, the organizer of the event, has stated that the objectives of the ICCDI include bringing together cyber defenders from around the world to connect with each other, and to help share curriculum between faculty.

Logo of the International Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational (ICCDI)"One of the challenges expressed at the Cyber SEC forum was that of different countries using different terms, etc., to manage the same types of networks and deal with the same cybersecurity issues. By hosting an international event, the organizers hope to facilitate the use of a common language and to create new relationships among those who are becoming the next generation of cyber defenders."

The Invitational also may serve as a catalyst for other countries to start hosting their own national collegiate competitions.

While not an actual Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) event, the competition will be modeled after the U.S. National CCDC. Highline College is a U.S. National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense – Two-Year (CAE2Y) that has successfully hosted the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (PRCCDC) for the last seven years. For the 2016 season, the Highline team designed, hosted, and operated the competition, hosting thirteen colleges and universities from throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. Phillips is seeking sponsors for the event, as well as volunteers. If interested, contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and California Polytechnic University are organizing the second annual California Cyber Innovation Challenge (CCIC) on behalf of the CyberCalifornia coalition.

The statewide high school cybersecurity competition will be held June 24–25 at the California Cyber Training Complex in San Luis Obispo. Sixteen high school – level teams will compete in timed cybersecurity challenges designed to replicate the different threats that cybersecurity professionals face, from attacks on critical infrastructure to attempted breaches of consumer data on connected devices.

For more information on the 2017 CCIC, visit


Organizers of the Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (PRCCDC) are asking faculty coaches to pre-register for the 2017 competition by Wednesday, January 11.

Two-year and four-year colleges in the Pacific Rim region (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) are eligible to send their teams to the regional competition, which will take place March 24–26, 2017, at Highline College in Des Moines, Wash. The team that wins the regional championship will go to the National Championships in San Antonio, Texas, in April. 

Because interest in PRCCDC is growing, organizers need to know how many teams intend to compete this year. If more than 12 teams pre-register, a qualifying event will be held in February. 

Faculty coaches should pre-register for the 2017 PRCCDC through the regional competition's website: This is not the full registration; only the faculty member's name, team captain's name, and contact info are required.


CyberWatch West is excited to be a sponsor of the inaugural California Cyber Innovation Challenge (CCIC) being held on Wednesday, June 29, at Sacramento City College.

Teams of students from eight California high schools will participate in the one-day cybersecurity competition demonstration event organized by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) together with the CyberCalifornia network, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and the California Workforce Development Board.

The student teams will complete a series of timed cybersecurity challenges, defend the integrity of computer networks, and crack complex codes. The competition will have elements modeled on CyberPatriot, the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, and built on Facebook’s recently open-sourced capture-the-flag (CTF) hosting platform.

“California students will be on the front lines of defending our state’s cybersecurity,” said GO-Biz director Panorea Avdis. “This challenge showcases California’s commitment to proactively addressing the global cybersecurity skills gap.”

One of the eight participating high schools is Irvington High School in Fremont, a CyberWatch West member that had five teams competing in CyberPatriot VIII this spring. Sacramento City College also belongs to the consortium.

Among the other sponsors supporting the launch of the CCIC are the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Los Angeles Unified School District, California Polytechnic University—San Luis Obispo and Pomona, the Securing our eCity Foundation, the Air Force Association, Dun and Bradstreet, ForeScout, Facebook, and Cisco.



The Columbia Basic College Hawks from Pasco, WA, won the Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition ( CCDC) on April 13, despite this being the team’s first time competing. Western Washington University’s team, from Bellingham, WA, came in second.

At the Western Regional competition March 1820, Cal Poly Pomona’s team triumphed over competitors including the University of Advancing Technology, Tempe, AZ (second place);  the University of California, Berkeley (third place); and Stanford University (fourth place).

Columbia Basin College, Western Washington University, and Cal Poly Pomona are all members of CyberWatch West, which sponsors both WRCCDC and PRCCDC.

The winning teams will travel to San Antonio, TX, to participate in the 2016 national championship April 2224.

They’ll complete against eight other teams from around the United States. Like Columbia Basic College, the University of Tulsa (Southwest Region) will be new to the national competition. So will Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, which has competed at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals for just three years.  

The University of Alaska Anchorage beat the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) at the At-Large Regionals for the first time; UAF had gone to Nationals for the four years straight. Brigham Young University’s team is getting attention because of its rare 50/50 split between male and female players (Rocky Mountain Region).

Other competing teams have become regulars at the Nationals. Chicago’s DePaul University won the Midwest Regionals in 2010 and again in 2015. Dakota State University’s team has represented the North Central Region three times in the last seven years. The Northeastern University team from Boston (Northeast) were the CCDC champions in 2010.

The final regional competition in 2016, for the Southeast region, took place April 67. For the third year in a row, the winners were the University of Central Florida Knights—the team that won the national championships in 2014 and 2015.


On March 17 and 18, teams of college and university students from across California and other southwestern states will descend on the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona to match their defensive skills against live opponents as part of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC).

Teams competed in a qualifier January 30 for the right to advance to the regional competition. Some Bay Area teams will drive all day to reach the Western Regional venue Friday night.

Dr. Dan Manson, Professor and Department Chair for Computer Information Systems at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, has coordinated the Western Regional CCDC since 2008. He said it’s exciting to see new teams from schools such as San Diego State University and Arizona State University.

The University of California, Riverside and Stanford University have advanced to the regional competition for the first time. This puts them up against strong contenders like the University of California, Berkeley team, which took first place at the Western Regionals in 2014 and 2015.

“A major trend we have seen in the past few years is involvement from larger-name schools,” explained Manson. “Having Stanford and UC Berkeley compete this year is great, because of their Bay Area and Pac-12 rivalry in sports, and the rivalry between northern and southern California schools.”

The competition is unique among cyber events because it focuses on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. Teams’ scores are based on their ability to detect and respond to outside threats, maintain availability of existing services such as mail servers and web servers, respond to business requests such as the addition or removal of services, and balance security needs against business needs.

The team that triumphs in Pomona in March will travel to San Antonio, Texas, in April for the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC). Last year’s national champions, the University of Central Florida Knights, were awarded a trip to Washington D.C. to tour the nation’s top research and national security cyber sites; each student on the winning team was offered an internship with defense contractor and event sponsor Raytheon.



Teams and individuals can now register online for the 2016 Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (PRCCDC), which will take place at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington. 

To participate, each team must submit a letter of intent and the $80 registration fee by noon on Monday, February 1.

Make checks payable to: Highline Foundation. Mail them to Amelia Phillips, MS 29-2, PO Box 98000, Des Moines WA 98198. 

Team details are needed no later than Friday, February 12. Registration will close that evening.

Pre-Qualifiers will be held on February 27. The regional competition itself takes place April 1–3. Visit for more details.

PRCCDC is a regional qualifying event for the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC), the largest college-level cyber defense competition in the United States. Teams from Idaho, Oregon and Washington typically participate in PRCCDC. Teams from California, Nevada and Arizona compete in the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.