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The 2010 Security Treasure Hunt is underway in California.

The online competition is part of a national effort to identify young men and women with the potential to become world-class cyber security professionals.

“It is critical to be able to meet the immediate needs of the nation in the area of cyber skills,” said Karen Evans, nationwide director of The U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC). “We are excited to see the launch of this effort and partnering with the states in this effort.” USCC partnered with the California Office of Information Security and Cal Poly Pomona.

[private]The California competition began last week and ends May 20. USCC has also partnered with New York and Delaware to offer the competition to young adults in their respective states.

Cyber Security

Experts agree the United States is critically short of individuals capable of stopping threats to our information systems and to our overall digital infrastructure from unfriendly countries, groups and individuals.

“Identifying the next generation of talented and skilled cyber security professionals is one of the most important things we can do for our nation,” said California State Chief Information Security Officer Mark Weatherford. “Cyberspace is the new frontier and the growing challenges of keeping our governments and businesses secure require competent technical cyber security specialists that take years to develop.”

USCC is a national talent search and skills development program. Its purpose is to find 10,000 young Americans with the interests and skills to fill the ranks of cyber security practitioners, researchers and warriors. The program nurtures and develops their skills, and enables them to get access to advanced education and exercises, and where appropriate, enable them to be visible to employers where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.

The California Security Treasure Hunt is free and open to people 18 years and older who live in the state or attend school in California. Participants who log on to can go to the Security Treasure Hunt where they will then identify security flaws and vulnerabilities on a target system. Top performers will be eligible for an all-expense paid trip to the Cyber Challenge summer camp July 19-23 hosted by the College of Business Administration at Cal Poly Pomona. The camp will feature a week of intensive cyber security training and cover topics such as intrusion detection, penetration and forensics.

Cal Poly Pomona has a focus on cyber security education and produces graduates who are highly sought after by employers in the public and private sectors.

USCC organizers expect 5,000 competitors this year from California, New York and Delaware. Next year, organizers have set a goal to have 15 states participate and more than 35 states by 2012.[/private]

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