AFCEA is organising one-of-a-kind hacking challenge based on cyber security as part of the TechNet Europe 2017 conference. AFCEAHack will take place on October 9-11 at Scandic City Infra Hotel, Stockholm.
According to the organisers, AFCEAHack is Sweden’s leading Capture the Flag (CTF) hacking challenge, held in conjunction with AFCEA TechNet Europe 17. The event brings together students, hackers and industry experts, collaborating in a team and demonstrating their knowledge of security and development skills.
During the challenge, participants compete in teams to hack into a simulated network and collect various keys. The team that collects the most keys during the shortest time wins and will be presented during the closing ceremony on October 11.
The CTF hacking environment was built through a collaboration between The Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and consultancy firms Engvall Security and KITE. AFCEAHack is partly funded by Vinnova and the event is aligned with a key priority area of the Swedish government to increase the skill level of cyber defence across a range of industry sectors.
We spoke to the organisers to get more background on the event:
Q: Tell us a little about AFCEA and why organise a hacking challenge.
A: “ACEA is a member-based, non-profit association for professionals that provides highly sought after thought leadership, engagement and networking opportunities. They focus on cyber, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence to address national and international security challenges. Each year, AFCEA Europe holds a conference called TechNet Europe. Multiple seminars are held over two days to discuss the latest trends within national defence and cyber security. Government agencies explain the challenges they are facing which also gives insights for the industry on what solution to develop. In a way to promote AFCEA among the younger generation, and add a younger flavour to the event, a hackathon was introduced next to the conference. As conference attendees are also allowed to participate it offers a great way for students broaden their network and learn about the latest within the industry.”
Q: What is Capture the Flag?
A: “Jeopardy-style CTFs have a couple of questions (tasks) in range of categories. For example, Web, Forensic, Crypto, Binary or something else. Team can gain some points for every solved task. More points for more complicated tasks usually. The next task in chain can be opened only after some team solve previous task. Then the game time is over sum of points shows you a CTF winner.”
Q: The event is partly funded by Vinnova and aligned with cyber-defence priorities of the Swedish government. What are the threats to Sweden – specifically when it comes to tech?
A: “Cybersecurity is critical to ensure the whole society has sufficient access and trust to digital services. Cyber security helps ensure quality and efficiency of function within the society, and it is a pre-requisite to take use of possibilities from digital solutions - whether it be public services, connected vehicles or smart factories. Threats range from small risks for the individual, to larger, well-planned attacks on critical infrastructure. Tech-companies are exposed to risks as there is an ever-growing amount of intrusion-attempts on internet-connected systems. The number of cybersecurity attacks is increasing every year, from 2013-2015, it was reported that cybercrimes quadrupled. In a Cybersecurity Ventures report on cybercrimes, cyber-threat costs are expected to rise to $6 trillion annually by 2021, which includes everything from damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post -attack disruption to businesses, forensic investigation, restoration and deleted hacked data and systems.”
Q: What skills will the participants need?
A: “Win/Linux admin skills, knowledge of networks essentials, scripting and developing in Python, Java, C, BASH or other coding language.” Q: Tell us more about the prizes! A: “1st place: 3000 euros; 2nd place: 1500 euros; 3rd place: 1000 euros. There will also be Twitter challenges and drone races.”
40 students and developers will be selected for the event so if you have an interest in information security and a desire to learn techniques and technologies such as application security, cryptography, threat modelling and penetration testing.