Frequently Asked Questions

Student can learn concepts, skills and critical thinking related to cybersecurity.

  • Basic concepts like ports and protocols, regular expressions, and phases of the cyber kill chain are taught through learning games.
  • Foundational skills like linux basics, traffic analysis, scripting, and forensics are practiced in virtual machine-based hands-on labs.
  • Tools, tactics, and procedures are reinforced in specialized scenarios that require skills synthesis and critical thinking. These advanced exercises are individual or team-based activities that deliver gamified backstories of real-life cyber-attacks to practice network recon, disabling botnets, phishing and exfiltration, ransomware, and more.

The library of Project Ares learning exercises are aligned to the NIST/NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework for industry-leading cyber learning.

Learn more about the learning exercises and NICE Framework alignment in the Project Ares Learning Catalog. 

There are two methods for checking answers in Project Ares scenarios. First, there are automated ‘umpire checks’ where the system looks for a specific answer or outcome. Second, assessment or scoring is based on the path or steps the user takes to solve a problem.

If a student completes something correctly and does not receive points, we invite you to reach out the Project Ares team with feedback. As new approaches are constantly evolving, we are always trying to increase the capability of the umpire checks to account for varied routes to problem-solving.

The majority of tools within the Project Ares platform are open source. We do this to help ensure that the learning focus is on building skills vs. learning about specific tool functionality. Frankly, it also keeps the cost of the platform lower.

Currently, Project Ares students will find both Linux and Windows-based tools that they can train with.

Project Ares does not need to simulate a SIEM because the platform uses high-fidelity emulated environments with an adversary framework. This means that an actual SIEM, like SecurityOnion, is built in and made available to the student when the learning objectives of the exercise require it.

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