Down to the Wire

Posts tagged "defcon"

Hacking from the Pool: A DEF CON 2021 Retrospective

Much like the rest of the world, DEF CON CTF returned this year in a hybrid online/in-person format. For those who wanted it, space was reserved on the game floor to hack amidst the other teams that came to Vegas. For the rest of us who were still a bit nervous about large crowds, the infrastructure would be hosted online and accessible from anywhere in the world. Torn between the two choices, we opted this year for a middle ground: all of us together, but in a house 300 miles away.

Here We Go Again: A DEF CON 2019 Retrospective

As the Vegas festivities wrap up, I once again have an opportunity to reflect on the year’s biggest CTF and the culmination of my time as an undergraduate with the Plaid Parliament of Pwning. I’m looking forward to playing with them as an alumni, but now is a good time for me to share some of my thoughts with the rest of the community and to hear what everyone else is thinking.

With that in mind, let’s talk DEF CON!

Welcome to the New Order: A DEF CON 2018 Retrospective

On August 12th, 2018, the Plaid Parliament of Pwning earned second place in DEF CON CTF, one of the most competitive hacking competitions in the world. Placing ahead of us this year were our colleagues on DEFKOR00T, marking their second such victory over the past four years. Although this year I cannot provide an account of the how the winning team played, we still have many great stories to tell, and we learned a lot from DEF CON 2018.

A DefCon 2016 Retrospective

Defcon CTF 2016 was held from August 5th to 7th during the annual Defcon conference. This year DARPA chose to host their Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) — a CTF-style competition between fully autonomous Cyber Reasoning Systems (CRS’) — at Defcon as well, so the Legitimate Business Syndicate oriented their competition around it to allow the winning machine to compete against the human teams. The new format brought with it several interesting gameplay mechanisms as well as a couple of issues, resulting in a fun but occasionally problematic contest. During the competition I played with the Plaid Parliament of Pwning (PPP), with whom I placed first. This is a brief reflection of how the game operated, what succeeded, and what did not.