Press Releases

California To Join U.S. Cyber Challenge

-National Competition in Search of Tomorrow’s Cybersecurity Leaders-

Washington, DC – California will join the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a series of competitions aimed at recruiting and training America's next generation of cybersecurity experts, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and the California Office of Information Security announced today.

The U.S. Cyber Challenge consists of three competitions: The Digital Forensics competition, led by the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center; the CyberPatriot Defense competition, led by the U.S. Air Force Association; and the NetWars Capture the Flag competition, led by the SANS Institute.

Winners of the Cyber Challenge will be invited to attend Cyber Camps at California State University, Sacramento, where they will further develop the technical skills needed to become cybersecurity experts.

These competitions and camps are designed to identify 10,000 young Americans with the interest and computer skills to become the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.  The overall program is intended to nurture and develop their skills, give them access to advanced education and exercises, and enable them to be recognized by colleges and employers where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.

“Cybersecurity is a serious threat to our national security and economic well-being, and our nation looks to a new generation of skilled professionals to fill the ranks of cybersecurity practitioners and researchers,” said Senator Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“I’m especially proud that California is making a significant contribution to shoring up the nation’s defenses in this critical area.  It is in keeping with California’s finest tradition of being at the forefront of new technologies, and I encourage students across the state to participate in a cybersecurity camp or competition in the coming months.”

“The United States depends on our critical infrastructures to meet the daily needs of our citizens and those same critical infrastructures need talented people to keep them secure and protected from those who would do us harm,"
said Mark Weatherford, California's Chief Information Security Officer. 

“Identifying and cultivating the next generation of cybersecurity professionals should be among our highest priorities.  The U.S. Cyber Challenge addresses this priority and my office is proud to help coordinate California's participation in this valuable program.”

“We need to develop a new breed of cyber engineers and scientists with a broad view of technology and service to society,” said Dr. Emir José Macari, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento, a key participant in the Cyber Challenge.  “Sacramento State is committed to educating the next generation of cyber guardians that will help ensure that our country remains safe from potentially catastrophic cyber attacks.”

In addition to Senator Feinstein, the California Office of Information Security, and California State University, Sacramento, the U.S. Cyber Challenge effort is supported by U.S. Representatives Dan Lungren, Doris Matsui, Diane Watson, Jane Harman, Zoe Lofgren and Loretta Sanchez.

California is the third state, following Delaware and New York, to assemble the necessary state and national leadership, university partnership and private sector business interest to begin developing curriculum, online education modules, exercises, software and scoring systems. 

For more information about the U.S. Cyber Challenge please visit