Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), along with the Virginia Small Satellite Data Consortium (VSDC) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) Hampton Roads Section, is hosting a free virtual cybersecurity and entrepreneurial data-themed Hackathon from Oct. 23 to 29. This weeklong event, nicknamed "The Hackening," is a community event designed to facilitate hands-on learning and identify top talent in Hampton Roads. It's open to high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen or sophomores who are interested in cybersecurity.

Participants will tackle challenges across various cyber disciplines, including data engineering, validation and security. An interdisciplinary team of cybersecurity, data, space and education experts have prepared cryptography, forensics, data security/integrity and web-exploitation challenges using publicly available datasets and resources. Leading industry experts will mentor students, who will have access to online learning resources. Prizes will be awarded, with the first-place finisher receiving a quadcopter drone.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to redesign the program to create a more logical learning pathway for students," said Louise Salinas, VMASC program manager. "The Hackening will serve as an excellent talent pipeline for the growing data-centered economy in Virginia, and it's a great opportunity for tech-minded individuals to make a name for themselves."

For more information or to register, please visit: www.hackening.net.

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