CTC 2019: Hack yourself to Mars

September 7, 2019

WinnersDuring the first edition of the Capture the Flag event ‘Challenge the Cyber’, organized by dcypher and the NCSC, 13 teams of around 100 students from different educational levels and institutes took up the challenge to hack themselves to Mars. With their win, the team High Tech Hacking Touch from the University of Twente qualified for the European Cyber Security Challenge in Bucharest.

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The winning team High Tech Hacking Touch used a clear strategy from the first minute, the happy team members say: ‘We immediately divided the tasks. Within this team, we were lucky to complement each other well in terms of expertise. Moreover, we started with the easiest assignments to score points right away, and we agreed that you should not exceed a certain time in trying to solve a single problem. That turned out to be a difficult challenge, since you always have the feeling that you are almost there.'

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Repair a spaceship 
Joost Pol, CEO of the company Certified Secure that developed the challenge, explains what the participants had to do: ‘The earth has been destroyed. You are left with nothing but a spaceship, of which fifteen crucial parts went offline. You must hack those parts to ensure that your spaceship will fly again. The team that arrives on Mars first with an intact spaceship wins. ‘

‘The cyber security labor market is being overloaded. We are not only eager for technicians, but also for people who can translate technical aspects into what they mean for their business, ‘says Jan Heijdra of Cisco about the importance of the event. ‘I am impressed by the dedication and focus of the participants. They all came here with a whole team on their free Saturday. Not to earn money or credits, or because a teacher said they had to, but purely for their own pleasure, ‘says Jan Wessels from Rabobank. ‘It is extra good to see that more and more women are attending these types of events,’ says Sander Peters from KPN Security. ‘It’s great that through this event the government and the business community are joining forces to highlight the importance of cyber security: the organizers are dcypher and the National Cyber Security Center, and the companies Cisco Nederland, KPN Security and Rabobank have sponsored it. The fact that the turnout for this first edition is this high is a signal that things are moving in the right direction in the Netherlands,’ the three sponsors conclude the sponsors.

Challenge the Cyber was the first national capture the flag competition for students from different educational levels. The competition was organized by dcypher in collaboration with NCSC and sponsored by Cisco Netherlands, KPN Security and Rabobank.

Text Sonja Knols
Photo Sjoerd van der Hucht