For the fourth consecutive year, Illinois State will host the Central Illinois High School Cyber Defense Competition. This year’s Central Illinois High School Cyber Defense Competition, supported by the National Security Agency and the College of Applied Science and Technology, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 10, at the School of Information Technology.

Last year’s winning team from Central Catholic High School (Bloomington) prevailed by being best able to defend their computers from attack. The National Security Agency has provided a grant for cash awards to members of winning teams!

  • First place: $300 to each team member
  • Second place: $200 to each team member
  • Third Place: $100 to each team member

All Central Illinois high schools are invited to enter teams. The competition difficulty will be appropriate for high school students who have only little experience with computer and network configuration. The following skills are helpful, but not necessary to participate:

  • Basic Windows configuration
  • Use of Ubuntu Linux
  • Experience with home wireless routers
  • Basic understanding of anti-virus and firewalls
  • Basic understanding of authentication using passwords
  • A willingness to learn new things

“The competition is a great way to motivate students to learn and to give them the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge in a fun environment. Additionally, during the competition we will offer a short course on online privacy for advisors that will count for continuing education credits,” said Professor Douglas Twitchell, contest organizer and director of the Center for Information Assurance and Security Education at Illinois State.

If your school, class, or club is interested in participating, fill out the online quick form here. This form is to express your interest in participating in the event. A later form will finalize your team’s entry.

For more information, visit or email