Last weekend I attended DerbyCon, a Hacker Conference in Louisville Kentucky. DerbyCon is a relatively young conference (compared to others such as DEF CON) and this is the fourth consecutive year it’s been held. I have attended every year. Every year that I have attended, I have participated in the Capture The Flag (CTF) event.
A few of my readers won’t know what CTF is, so I’ll take a moment to explain it. CTF is an event in which hackers compete to find “flags” on vulnerable networks or systems. CTFs vary in type but the basic premise is that you any means necessary (within the stated rules) to locate flags which are turned in for points. Flags can be obtained any number of ways but typically involve locating them hidden in certain locations or files. The more difficult the flag is to obtain, the more it’s worth in points.
I competed in my very first CTF event my first year at DerbyCon. Ever since, I have become complete immersed in playing CTF while at the con. To put that in perspective, the last two years I attended the con, I did not see a single talk outside the opening and closing ceremonies. Simply because the CTF hasn’t started or has ended during those talks. Any talks I see are usually after they’ve been posted to YouTube at a later date.