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Pink Elephant Unicorn: PNNL brings cybersecurity competition to students, public

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August 07, 2017 Share This!

  • Students and community members learn about cybersecurity and then put their skills to the test during the Pink Elephant Unicorn competition.
    Credit: Eric Francavilla / PNNL

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RICHLAND, Wash. — More than 70 students and community members joined the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory staff over the weekend for an immersive and fun experience in cybersecurity education.

From simple computer viruses to complex, targeted cyberattacks, few people have the ability to recognize vulnerabilities in networks, implement measures to protect sensitive data, and prevent future malicious attacks. This is why PNNL created "Pink Elephant Unicorn" — a unique cybersecurity capture the flag competition. Despite its whimsical name, the event has a serious mission. "We focus on novice users — people interested in cybersecurity careers. Here, they learn the concepts and techniques with subject matter experts in a supportive and fun environment," said Daniel Best, PNNL cybersecurity researcher and founder of Pink Elephant Unicorn. "It's about education and new people getting the confidence to move forward to learn about this exciting field."

Held twice a year, once in Seattle and once in Tri-Cities, Washington, the event is open to Lab staff, students and the public. Learn more in the Facebook Live video below.

Tags: Energy, Computational Science, National Security, Cybersecurity

PNNL LogoInterdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed and operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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