Last year RVAsec had its first CTF and it was a huge success.   The team has been planning to make the event this years even better and have a lot in store.  We caught up with Chris Gerling to get some information on what to expect this year.
(RVAsec) The CTF was aimed to be a bit of a different take than normal and huge hit at last year’s at RVAsec. Can you tell us a little about it?
Chris: We wanted to build an “Everyman” CTF, which allowed people from all skill levels and professions to participate and learn. Our goal was education, and to give people a platform for that to happen on. The trick was balancing easy challenges with medium and very difficult as well, giving everyone a challenge without making them feel too confused. We believe it worked very well.
(RVAsec) How many people participated? How did the RVAsec attendees do with the CTF?
Chris: 37 people ended up participating and nearly all scored on at least one challenge. It was really awesome to see people learning and solving problems, and even surprising themselves with what they could figure out.
(RVAsec) What were some things that you learned from last year?
Chris: We learned that the registration process needs to be cleaner, and we need to do a better job of keeping track of people for giving our prizes. It’s also going to be beneficial to have the event more organized with goals we want to hit in terms of announcements, at every stage of the event.
Hardware wise, we’re using a smaller machine that doesn’t weigh as much. The AP we used, which was a WNDR4500 held up well, but we’re going to augment that this year and look into providing wired access.
(RVAsec) What are the plans for the CTF this year?
Chris: We plan on offering a similar style CTF, with a tiered approach. Possible additions are a more robust story line, and a free 1 hour seminar for brand new participants who have never done a CTF before.
(RVAsec) If someone wanted to participate, what would you recommend they do to prepare?

Chris: There are a plethora of tutorials available on youtube and securitytube. There are also challenges available at that are really great to learn on.  Getting familiar with tools like Wireshark, and basic command line usage in a distribution such as Kali Linux will be very valuable.  From a DFIR standpoint downloading and learning the SANS SIFT workstation is also one way to learn forensics tools.

(RVAsec) Can you give attendees any hints or teasers about the CTF?
Chris: Only if you bring us some beer. 😉  We’ll actually be releasing some teasers once we’ve got more content built out in the coming weeks!
(RVAsec) How do people sign up to participate?
Chris:  You can register for the CTF when you purchase your ticket for RVAsec, or directly on the SecuraBit web site.

(RVAsec)  Do you need any help?  If so, what and how can people or companies help out?
Chris: We can always use help in creating this. We’re really ramping up over the next few weeks and starting to build things. If you want to build a challenge, or have any content at all you want to contribute, we definitely need that. If you’re really motivated and want to push on us all to do the best job we can, we’d love to have you on the team.

Sponsors are welcomed if any want to donate prizes to give away. We will give you a shout out and display your logo on the scoreboard.
(RVAsec) Anything else?
We can’t wait to see people learn again, and are very grateful to have a place to put this event on in RVAsec!  If you want to get involved, have questions or want to sponsor please contact us at