The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has teamed up with marketing and cybersecurity games company Katzcy to launch the first US Cyber Games.
Consisting of the US Cyber Open and the US Cyber Combine Invitational, the program will run until October 2021. Included in the program is the selection of the first-ever US Cyber Team to represent the United States at the International Cyber Security Challenge (ICSC).
This year’s ICSC is scheduled to take place in Athens, Greece, in December, so those competing for a place on the team must have an active passport by September 2021 and be able to travel abroad (complying with any travel restrictions).
Other requirements to qualify for the US Cyber Combine and the US Cyber Team are that entrants must be citizens of the United States and aged 18–26 years old.
Athletes selected to compete will learn skills in areas including reconnaissance, cryptanalysis, operations security, forensics analysis, and malware analysis.
In the US Cyber Open, applicants from across the nation will compete in a two-week Capture the Flag (CTF) competition. Participants will be scored in multiple cybersecurity areas as they complete a series of virtual cybersecurity challenges.
The US Cyber Combine Invitational will see 60 cyber-athlete players invited to take part in a variety of virtual learning programs and games over an eight-week period. During this time, the athletes will be interviewed by multiple coaches and put through their paces in a series of aptitude tests before finally performing in an advanced CTF qualifier round.
The 20 best cybersecurity athletes will be selected to form the inaugural US Cyber Team that will go to Athens at the end of the year.
A call for coaches began on Wednesday and will run until June 1, 2021. The Games’ organizers invite leaders from academia, corporations, and government to apply to be part of the all-volunteer 2021–22 US Cyber Coaching Team.
“Cyber games are our passion,” said Katzcy CEO Jessica Gulick.
“We view them not as just events, but as a fundamental element to competency development for the next generation of a diverse and well-qualified community of cybersecurity talent.”