San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to Issue County-Wide Cyber Cup Challenge at Securing Our eCity® Event (Oct. 11-12)

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On Oct. 11, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will issue a county-wide challenge to other mayors requesting that they join with him and the nationally recognized Securing Our eCity® cybersecurity awareness program to create Mayors’ Cyber Cup competitions in their own cities.

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On Oct. 11, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will issue a county-wide challenge to other mayors requesting that they join with him and the nationally recognized Securing Our eCity® cybersecurity awareness program to create Mayors’ Cyber Cup competitions in their own cities.

Now in its fourth year, the San Diego Mayors’ Cyber Cup Challenge cyber defense competition encourages mentoring of middle and high school students through formation of local school teams that compete in a realistic cybersecurity exercise, in which they detect and defend computer systems against hackers intent on stealing data. Based on a cyber war game simulation platform developed by San Diego’s SAIC, the annual competition is open to all San Diego middle and high schools, and sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) as one of its key science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach initiatives. San Diego-based Securing Our eCity* has been instrumental in organizing and funding the Mayor’s Cyber Cup since its inception.

“I’m extremely proud of the Cyber Cup Challenge, and the tremendous impact it’s had on raising cybersecurity awareness and helping to inspire our nation’s next generation of cyber warriors,” Mayor Sanders said.

“There is a critical need to identify, develop, and support cyber experts that will help protect San Diego, and the nation, from evolving cyber threats and this Challenge serves as the perfect platform to showcase new talent,” Sanders said.

Sanders will issue the challenge formally on Oct. 11, as he receives an award from Jessie J. Knight Jr., Chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Chairman of Securing Our eCity. Knight will present Mayor Sanders with an award recognizing his outstanding achievements in community service during Securing Our eCity’s CYBERSECURITY SYMPOSIUM & AWARDS 2012, taking place Oct. 11-12 at SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center.

“On behalf of Securing Our eCity and SDG&E, I am thrilled to recognize Mayor Sanders’ vision and foresight in creating the Mayors’ Cyber Cup,” said Knight. “Mayor Sanders’ support of this exciting new program will bring many benefits to the region, including helping our young people find challenging and rewarding careers in cybersecurity, raising awareness about the challenges we all face from cyber threats and encouraging other cities within the greater San Diego area and beyond to take part in this vital effort. Together, we can inspire our students to become the next generation of cybersecurity experts who will make sure that the technology we rely on is used in a safe and secure manner for the benefit of us all.”

Background and History

In the fall of 2007, the NDIA San Diego Chapter selected cyber security competitions as one of their key STEM initiatives for 2007-2008. The UCDS Physical Sciences Department and SAIC teamed to deliver the NDIA Cyber Defense Competition. In the spring of 2008, five San Diego-based high schools participated in this proof-of-concept competition.

Each school met at the SAIC Campus Point facility, where SAIC provided baseline instruction on Microsoft Corporation's Windows Security in the morning, followed by pizza for lunch and then the competition in the afternoon.

The final event was attended by the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders. After the five individual training and exercising events, UCSD hosted a banquet to announce the winners and present the awards. Everyone expressed great interest in when the next competition of this kind could be conducted.

Since then, SAIC has developed a second-generation competition system called the CyberNEXS, which now provides a highly scalable training, exercising, competition and certification system. This technology and procedures have been tested and validated during the recent Air Force Association Cyber Patriot II National High School Cyber Defense competition series, which included several qualification rounds that were run via the Internet.

SAIC approached the mayor's office to see if the city would like to participate in this very exciting and important STEM program and institutionalize it as the Mayor's Cyber Cup. The mayor's office accepted to help highlight this very important skill set requirement for the U.S. workforce. Securing Our eCity has helped to foster the program, and hosts an annual free cybersecurity summer camp for the winning team.

For additional information about Securing Our eCity®, its upcoming events and additional ways to get involved, please visit, For the latest cyber threat and education information, follow Securing Our eCity on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook or follow SOeC’s blog at


Headquartered in San Diego, the award winning Securing Our eCity (SOeC) program was recognized in 2010 by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the nation’s Best Local and Community-based Cyber Security Program. SOeC is focused on fostering public/private partnerships at local, state, national and international levels while helping counter cyber threats and creating more cyber secure communities across the globe. Stakeholders from coast to coast including consumer advocates, business owners, and governmental agencies (law enforcement and legislative bodies) have come together to raise awareness, education and help individuals and businesses prepare for cybersecurity challenges now and in the future. The founding stakeholders include ESET North America, San Diego Business Journal, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, UCSD and SDSU. To learn more, visit:

*Securing Our eCity (SOeC) is a DBA of the San Diego-based ESET Foundation, a nonprofit corporation.

For the ESET Foundation:
Steve Kovsky
Director of Community Outreach
E-mail: steve.kovsky(at)esetfoundation(dot)org
Office: (619) 630-2444
Mobile: (760) 297-4004

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