Hackers compete at Capture The Flag event in Bonn

Hackers from all over Germany compete in Bonn

Hackers compete in hacking competition in Bonn

On 26 November 2022, the hacker event of the year took place at the IBM Garage for Defense in Bonn.
Over one hundred hackers applied to take part in Capture The Flag in Bonn. Sixty of them were able to take part and compete with other hackers from all over Germany and beyond.

IBM Garage for Defence
IBM Garage for Defence

Competition and networking as the goal of the Capture The Flag event

Together with CGI and IBM, we at Laokoon Security have, after more than half a year of organisation and preparation, put together a hacker competition that is second to none.
After an almost endless period without any events organised by the hacker community, the CTF in Bonn was a welcome change for everyone involved.
However, the focus of the event was not only on the competition, but also on the exchange with like-minded people and the exchange of experiences between experienced and rookies was the declared aim of the organisers.

Teams from all over Germany and beyond took part

In addition to professional CTF teams from all over Germany, teams consisting of experienced penetration testers from a wide range of companies and newcomers from various universities also took part. In particular, the Ruhr University Bochum, the University of Bonn, the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences were represented with teams.

'Fun with Shellcode Loaders' as Red Team Insights

After the on-boarding on Saturday morning, the participants were first able to explore the spacious location, the IBM Garage for Defence. The organisers then welcomed all the hackers.
Jean-Francois Maes, instructor at the SANS Institute, then gave an insight into C2 networks and how exploit payloads can be hidden to prevent or at least delay detection. Exciting insights, especially for all those involved in red teaming.

Hackers from all over Germany compete in Bonn
Hackers from all over Germany compete in Bonn

At twelve o'clock it was time to let's hack!

Full of vigour, the teams threw themselves into the thirteen challenges provided in a wide range of categories.
From web applications, reverse engineering, jail-breakout, OSINT and cryptography, everything that belongs to a good Jeopardy CTF was represented. Together with the well-known challenge provider in the scene Hack The Box the hackers were able to rely on the usual very good quality.
A total of fourteen flags were collected in the planned six hours.

Impressive performance by Dragos Albastroiu

The winner was decided after just three hours: Dragos AlbastroiuThe Romanian and experienced CTF player was able to win the CTF in his own favour. In fact, he won it for himself, as he completed all the challenges himself in record time due to his team-mates' cancellations.
The FluxFingers, the official CTF team of Ruhr University Bochum, hacked their way to second place. The teams from TU Darmstadt and the University of Paderborn.
Congratulations to all the winners!

Group picture after the award ceremony
Group picture after the award ceremony

Pizza and drinks after the CTF

After completing the challenge and six hours of concentration, the participants had well and truly earned their pizza. At the same time, the delivery of over ninety pizzas was a good icebreaker to get into conversation with the other teams, exchange ideas about the challenges and learn about other possible approaches.
Even before the award ceremony, all thoughts of competition had been put to rest and the teams celebrated together well into the night.

Next year again - the organisers swore to each other that very evening

On the evening of the successful event, the organisers from Laokoon Security, CGI and IBM shook hands that it would not remain a one-off event. The declared aim is to give hackers from Germany another opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the coming year.

The positive feedback from the press and the Participants made it clear that a truly extraordinary event had been created here. It was not only the General Gazette Bonn in advance, also WDR and the Daily news showed why such events are so enormously important.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants of the event once again.

By the way: We regularly give our employees the opportunity to Participation in competitions  and Capture The Flag events as part of their working hours. Here you can find out more.

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