CTF

View our 2018 and 2019 listing of information security (infosec) / cyber security training courses, events and conferences from around the world that are associated with Capture the Flag (CTF).

Cyber security is a high priority of companies, small and big, as cyber attacks have been on the rise in recent years. In response to these attacks, security professionals and college students have been through rigorous training as how hackers are able to get into the companies and how to defend against them. One way of cyber security training is through a cyber security capture the flag (CTF) event. A cyber security CTF is a competition between security professionals and/or students learning about cyber security. This competition is used as a learning tool for everyone that is interested in cyber security and it can help sharpen the tools they have learned during their training.

CTF competitions have become global as they did not have any borders and can be done via the Internet. International teams were competing for different types of prizes and bragging rights. There are two formats of the cyber security CTF: attack-defend and Jeopardy-style.

The attack-defend CTF is where each team attacks the other team’s system, as well as defend their own system. Usually, there are two rounds of game play in which one team is the attacking team and the other team is the defending team in the first round and then they switch for the second round. There are flags (text files, folders, images, etc.) in the defending machines that the attacking team attempts to find as they compromise the machines. The attacking team is able to use different hacking tools in order to compromise the defending machines but there are rules in place to ensure that the teams are not at an advantage over the other. The defending team can do anything within the rules to defend their machines against the attacking team. They are not allowed to disable any network connections or turn off the machines. If there is any rule violation, the team will incur a penalty or be disqualified.

The Jeopardy-style CTF is similar to the actual Jeopardy game as the scoreboard looks like a Jeopardy board with different categories and point values. There can be more than two teams as the teams are not trying to attack each other. Some of the categories can include Cryptography, Steganography, Physical Security and Scanning.

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