SAN ANTONIO - Only days after nearly 100 countries were hit by what's now known as the biggest worldwide cyber attack in history, young people from across the country are being trained on cyber defense in San Antonio.
Led by the San Antonio Civil Air Patrol, cadets take four cyber defense courses and then are tested on their skills. Over the course of several days, the cadets learned how to address real-world cyber security issues and then they had to prove that they could adequately secure systems.
"There's been some malicious malware within the network and we're trying to find it," Alex Bazemore, a cadet, said.
Some of the malware even mimicked the WannaCry ransomware attack that infected more than 230,000 computers in nearly 100 countries.
"We're preparing them and saying hey you just saw this major issue happen around the world. How would you respond to that," Cyber Defense Training Academy instructor Jacob Stauffer said.
Stauffer said figuring that out gets harder every day. With new computers, smart tv's and even kitchen appliances that connect to the web, the threat landscape grows daily.
"What we need to do is really get our youth in the mindset that security shouldn't be an afterthought," Stauffer said. "It needs to be in the front of your mind."
San Antonio is ranked one of the top three hubs for cyber intelligence, but that also means it's a big target for hackers. Cadets hope to one day meet the high demand for people with cyber knowledge in what experts say is an understaffed field.
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