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Competition Details


The competition is designed for high school students with little computer and network configuration experience. These skills and experiences are helpful but not necessary when participating:

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

Set Up

The competition organizes participants into teams.

Teams consist of up to eight students who configure and defend their networks and computers from attack. Multiple schools can come together to form a team.

One or two advisors from each school must be present. Advisors are not allowed to participate or coach their students during the competition.

  • Blue Team

    The blue teams include students participating in the competition. A blue team can have up to six people on the roster and team members must be a full time high school student in Illinois.

    Download a Blue Team Zoom background
    Blue Team background

  • Red Team

    Made up of Illinois State students and State Farm information security professionals, this team attempts to infiltrate and disrupt blue teams' networks.

    Download a Red Team Zoom background
    Red Team background

  • White Team

    The white team includes volunteers who serve as judges and room monitors. Judges assess blue teams' ability to maintain their network and services as well as their ability to complete competition assignments.

    Download a White Team Zoom background
    White Team background

  • Gold Team

    Administrative volunteers make up the gold team. They help with the logistics of the competition such as room set up and food.

Each blue team has a white team member in the room to observe and assist judges.

The competition also includes a chief judge who serves as the final authority on scoring, equity and fairness, and general event decisions.


Each blue team receives identical business tasks and teams earn points when they successfully complete a task. Tasks vary in nature and points. Point value is based on a task's difficulty and length of time to complete.

Score Weight

  • Machines and service uptime as measured by a scoring engine (checks approximately once per minute): 40%
  • Successful completion of assignments: 40%
  • Red team assessment of defenses: 20%


  • 8 a.m. - Event open
  • 8:30 a.m. - Registration
  • 9 a.m. - Welcome and announcements
  • 9:15 a.m. - Tutorial (Competition organizers discuss information security principles and give hands-on instructions on basic techniques needed during the competition)
  • 10:30 a.m. - Competition begins
  • 11:30 a.m. - Red team starts hacking
  • Noon - Working lunch
  • 3 p.m. - Competition ends
  • 3:30 p.m. - Awards ceremony
  • 4 p.m. - Adjourn