If there is one thing hackers love, it’s a challenge. Capture the flag (or CTF) competitions have become a staple of hacker conferences like DEF CON and you can even find some available online year-round. These competitions can range in difficulty, from simple trivia scavenger hunts to full-blown tests of skill. Some CTFs award prizes for completion while others were designed to teach new skills. No matter your experience level, there is probably a CTF available for you.
Last year, at the 2017 Black Hat and DEF CON events in Las Vegas, WatchGuard Threat Lab ran our own CTF. Participants had to track a missing agent of the Crimson Thorn hacking collective over a series of challenges of increasing difficulty. In some challenges, they needed to solve a riddle and crack an encrypted message, in other challenges they had to locate secrets hidden in images or audio. Participants that completed enough challenges quickly enough earned prizes.
This year, Crimson Thorn is back for the 2018 Black Hat and DEF CON events, and they’re recruiting new agents via challenges for participants of all skill levels. While the official contest doesn’t begin until August 8th, you can get started with a few intro challenges right away at crimsonthorn.net. The more challenges you complete, the more points you will earn. Prizes this year include a DJI Spark drone and a 3D Printer for whoever has the most points near the end of Black Hat (August 9th at 3PM) and DEF CON (August 12th at 2pm) respectively.
We look forward to challenging all of the new Crimson Thorn recruits when the contest begins on August 8th!