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Elite programmers compete in CTF at DEFCON

Members of the winning team 1@stPlace after 2 day marathonAt this years CTF (Capture the Flag) competition at DEFCON 2006, elite programmers and security penetration experts duke it out in a grueling two and a half day competition.  Out of hundreds of teams that signed up for the competition, only eight qualified for the finals in Las Vegas.
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Written by George Ou on

Members of the winning team 1@stPlace after 2 day marathon

At this years CTF (Capture the Flag) competition at DEFCON 2006, elite programmers and security penetration experts duke it out in a grueling two and a half day competition.  Out of hundreds of teams that signed up for the competition, only eight qualified for the finals in Las Vegas.  Team "1@stPlace" won the prestigious CTF competition by out hacking out Pwning (owning) the competition.

Every team was given their own custom application server to host which they had to keep operational as much as possible while trying to break in to the other team's servers.  The teams were not given the source code of the application server but were expected to patch it on the spot and find vulnerabilities in it to exploit the other competing teams.  Each team was only allowed to have 10 players in the pit area and was allowed to rotate team members out.


The pit area where teams fought their way through CTF

Even though the pit area closed down for a few hours in the early morning after 1:00 AM, the teams still worked on their strategy all through the night.  Some of the players didn't sleep for 30 or more hours straight.

It would be fairly safe to say that if any of these teams were turned loose on a typical corporate network to perform penetration testing, they would probably own the system in a matter of hours.

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