BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Does your school have a select group of cyber super sleuths? They might be a perfect fit for Cyber Madness.

On October 24, North Dakota’s Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley announced the second upcoming annual Cyber Madness High School Tournament, established by the state government’s EduTech division. This three-round tournament is designed to put high schoolers up against a series of challenges with the hopes of helping them develop useful cybersecurity skills.

Teams in the event will participate in the Capture the Flag (CTF) competition, which is described as a ‘fun, interactive cybersecurity challenge’ based on many cybersecurity-focused topics, including the following:

  • Addressing (Physical and Virtual)
  • Packet Encapsulation
  • Network and Endpoint Security Technology
  • Security Principles

Edutech requests that all students signing up for the event display an active interest in technology — and while previous experience with cybersecurity is recommended, none is necessary, as knowledge, instruction, and learning materials will be provided. Cyber Madness states that it welcomes any student into the event, regardless of skill level, to learn these new concepts.

“North Dakota is the first state to adopt computer science and cybersecurity content standards,” said State Superintendent and administrator of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler in the event’s announcement. “It is our vision for all PK-12 North Dakota students to have the opportunity to obtain a foundational understanding in this area because it is critically important in today’s world. The Cyber Madness tournament gives students an opportunity to put what they have learned to the test in a fun, competitive manner as they navigate real-world scenarios.” 

All high schools and North Dakota students (including public, private, tribal, and home school students of the age) are encouraged to form teams of up to five students and a coach to take part in the Cyber Madness challenge. In order to prepare for the event, schools can register on this page.

The 2023 Cyber Madness competition will be held from February 16-18 at the National Energy Center of Excellence in Bismarck. Sponsorships, commitment forms, and even more information can be gained by visiting the NoDak EduTech page or contacting the ND Cyber Madness Planning Committee at ndcybermadness@k12nd.us.