Winners of Cyber Challenge Announced

Holding the number one spot in the world for the second consecutive year, a Northrop Grumman Corporation team of cyber engineers won the overall "grand champion" title in the Defense Cyber Crime Center's (DC3's) eighth annual Digital Forensics Challenge.

The global challenge is a call to the digital forensics community to pioneer new investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies to address the dynamic cyber threat. The challenge encourages innovation from a broad range of individuals, teams, and institutions, and recognizes winners in various categories including military, government, commercial, civilian, and academia.

In addition to earning the top spot as grand champion, the Northrop Grumman team once again took first prize in the U.S. and commercial categories. The company's team is also the only U.S. team to have taken first place in the overall competition since it was opened to international participants in 2009. This year's competition exceeded last year's submissions by 235 percent with 3,182 exercise submissions compared to 1,356 in 2012. Overall, there were 1,254 registered teams from 49 US states and 49 countries.

The 10.5-month contest started in December 2012. The challenge consisted of 41 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. The DC3 challenge leaderboard can be viewed here.

Team members researched solutions and, in some cases, developed new techniques to solve specific problems. This year, the team focused on forensics tool development exercises, Windows system forensics, as well as encryption.

The DC3 sets standards for digital evidence processing, analysis and diagnostics for any Department of Defense (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.

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