What are capture the flag competitions?


Well many of us are familiar with Call of duty game, well capture the flag competitions are exactly like that.  One team of players attempt to locate and capture an opposing team’s “flag” while also defending their flag. In CTF competitions, the flag is typically a snippet of code, a piece of hardware on a network, or perhaps a file.


This style of competition is much closer to the backyard capture the flag game than the Jeopardy style. In these types of events, teams defend a host PC while still trying to attack opposing teams’ target PCs. Each team starts off with an allotted time for patching and securing the PC, trying to discover as many vulnerabilities as possible before the opponent attacking teams can strike. Teams receive points for staving off attacks from opposing teams and successfully infiltrating other teams. The team with the most points wins.

Jeopardy CTF

Jeopardy-style CTFs present competitors with a set of questions that reveal clues that guide them in solving complex tasks in a specific order. By revealing clues, contestants learn the right direction regarding techniques and methodologies that are needed going forward. Teams receive points for each solved task. The more difficult the task, the more points you can earn upon its successful completion.

Ongoing, online CTF competitions are most likely to be Jeopardy style. It’s easier to play solo, and requires less coordination among players than an Attack and Defend competition.

Mixed Events

As the name suggests, mixed competitions are an amalgam of Jeopardy and Attack-Defend formats. Sometimes organizers will segment the competition into events. Other times organizers might split teams to compete in concurrent events of different styles.