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Cameron Whitehead Wins U.S. Department of Energy’s 2023 CyberForce® Conquer the Hill — Reign Edition Competition

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Unleashing the power of cybersecurity: 2023 CyberForce® Conquer the Hill — Reign Edition competition set the stage for virtual showdown.

In an exciting showdown of talent and skill, Cameron Whitehead of University of Central Florida emerged as the champion of U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2023 CyberForce® Conquer the Hill — Reign Edition Competition. This virtual event, organized by DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, involved 144 individual participants from collegiate institutions across the nation. Contestants traversed a virtual escape room that required them to tackle challenges that simulated real-life scenarios, such as hacking into server rooms, interacting with AI robots and decoding secret messages. 

The CyberForce Conquer the Hill — Reign Edition Competition was designed like an escape room challenge. Whitehead showcased exceptional abilities in navigating these complex cyber situations, earning him the well-deserved title of champion. 

Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand due to the increasing number of threats in the digital world. DOE and Argonne recognize the importance of inspiring and educating a new generation of cybersecurity experts. That’s why DOE created the CyberForce Program, which provides opportunities for aspiring professionals to develop their skills and protect critical infrastructure. 

“Congratulations to Cameron Whitehead of University of Central Florida on his hard work and for winning the 2023 Reign Competition!” said Puesh Kumar, director of DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). ​“In an increasingly digitized and connected world, a skilled cybersecurity workforce is critically important to the U.S. energy sector. Thanks to CyberForce, students can test their skills and learn about career opportunities that support the security needs of the country.” 

Amanda Theel, director of the CyberForce Program and group leader of Workforce Development in Argonne’s Strategic Security Sciences division, praised Whitehead and the other participants, saying, ​“The 2023 CyberForce Conquer the Hill — Reign Edition competition showcased the impressive talents of Cameron and his peers. We are proud to support and challenge these future cybersecurity professionals.” 

The CyberForce Program, funded by DOE’s CESER, has a rich history of empowering aspiring professionals. Since its 2016 inception, the program has provided immersive experiences, informational webinars, and competitions, fostering the development of essential skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard critical infrastructure. 

For more information about the CyberForce Program and upcoming events, please visit the CyberForce Program website

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.



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