A four-person team of cyber engineers from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) won the overall "grand champion" title in the Department of Defense (DOD) Cyber Crime Center's (DC3's) seventh annual Digital Forensics Challenge.
This global challenge is a call to the digital forensics community to pioneer new investigative tools, techniques and methodologies that the department can use to address the ever-evolving cyber threat. The event encourages innovation from a broad range of individuals, teams and institutions, and recognizes winners in the categories of military, government, commercial, civilian and academia. The 2012 competition attracted more than 1,200 teams representing 53 countries and 436 teams from the United States.
In addition to earning the top spot as grand champion, the team took first prize in the U.S. and commercial categories. It was the first U.S. team to win the grand championship since the competition opened to international teams four years ago.
Members of the team from Northrop Grumman Information Systems' Cyber Intelligence division included systems engineers Ed Haymore, Hayden Metz and Myong Sung and software engineer Peter Jackowski.
"The competition is an excellent way for the DOD Cyber Crime Center to reach out to its commercial, academic and government partners to develop tools, methods and processes to help mitigate cyber crime," said Mike Papay, vice president and chief information security officer, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "We are proud of this team, which excelled in a highly competitive environment to demonstrate that staying ahead in cyber means continually challenging your own ability. Their rich expertise and drive to innovate will ultimately help our customers better protect their networks."
The 10½ month contest started in December 2011. The challenge consisted of 35 individual scenario-based exercises organized into five levels of difficulty. They ranged from basic digital forensics, or "novice-level," to "developer-level," where advanced tool development was required to solve the exercise and earn points. Teams were free to select which of the exercises to work on and submit for grading.
Leveraging their cyber expertise, team members researched solutions and in some cases, learned new techniques to solve specific problems. This year, the team focused on the forensics tool development exercises and developed software for all five levels.
Northrop Grumman first competed in the 2011 DC3 Forensics Challenge, earning first place in the commercial category.
The DC3 sets standards for digital evidence processing, analysis and diagnostics for any DOD investigation that requires computer forensic support to detect enhance or recover digital media, including audio and video. The center assists in criminal, counterintelligence, counterterrorism and fraud investigations of the Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations and DOD counterintelligence activities. It also supports safety investigations and inspector general and commander-directed inquiries. For more on DC3 and the challenge, go to www.dc3.mil.
As a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions to the federal government, Northrop Grumman is committed to building a world-class cyber workforce. Among the company's numerous cyber initiatives related to science, technology, engineering and math, the Northrop Grumman Foundation is the presenting sponsor for CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest-growing high school cyber defense competition.
In 2012, Northrop Grumman also partnered with the University of Maryland to start the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students program, which will immerse undergraduate students in all aspects of the field. At the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Northrop Grumman funded the CyberScholars program, which aims to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the field.
The company also launched its own Cyber Academy to promote professional training and development to attract and retain top talent. For more information on Northrop Grumman in cybersecurity, go towww.northropgrumman.com/cybersecurity.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.