Seven teams will compete for nearly $4 million in prizes in what is billed as a "first-of-its-kind" 2016 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Cyber Grand Challenge Final Competition in Las Vegas. 

The competition, designed to help speed the development of automated security systems capable fending off cyber attacks as quickly as they're launched, began with more than 104 teams competing in preliminary events. They were challenged to develop software capable of finding and patch vulnerabilities with the same kind of code used in the real world.

The competitors then used their systems to reverse engineer and patch vulnerabilities in software designed by the competition's organizers. Each of the seven victorious teams was given $750,000 to use to get ready for the final contest which will be held in August 2016, according to a release.