As cyber attacks reach record levels worldwide and with 93% of cyber leaders admitting a catastrophic security event will happen in the next two years, Hack The Box (HTB) has announced its biggest ‘Capture The Flag’ (CTF) competition will take place 18th – 23rd March 2023.
This year’s Cyber Apocalypse CTF is open to individuals of all skill levels, with a special focus on beginners, and is designed to prepare hackers for disastrous cyber scenarios that could soon become a reality. The apocalyptic-themed CTF is launching at a time when cybercrime is ranked among the top 10 global risks by the World Economic Forum, only falling behind geopolitical tensions, climate change, and cost of living.
As one of the largest CTFs organised worldwide, learners across the globe will face unique themed challenges that rank from easy to very difficult and have been developed exclusively for this initiative. Participants will gain practical experience with the latest cybersecurity skills by being tested on over 40 sophisticated cyber challenges focused on Cloud, Crypto, Pwn, Web, Forensics, and more. The design of the CTF follows research from Hack The Box which revealed that only 5.2% of companies across a range of sectors, including education, healthcare, governance, and technology, were able to perform Pwn attacks, and just 11% were able to solve crypto challenges and only 12% were able to secure cyber threats in the cloud.
The annual competition is not only designed to prepare individuals for the latest attack scenarios but also provides access to a community that celebrates ethical hacking. As part of the CTF, participants can take part in live hacking workshops taking place on March 17, creating an enjoyable environment to learn new skills in an industry that demands ever-changing skills and knowledge.
With the global talent shortage in cyber standing at 3.4 million and more professionals taking it into their own hands to upskill themselves, Hack The Box has seen its flagship CTF explode in popularity in recent years. The Hack The Box platform saw a 29% increase in individuals joining its CTF from 2021 to 2022, and team joiners soared by 48% in the same time period, with 2023 set to see record levels of participants.
Haris Pylarinos, Founder and CEO at Hack The Box, said: “Cybercrime is at record levels, and sadly this is only the tip of the iceberg. We live in the golden era of cyberattacks, with businesses more vulnerable than ever. The digital landscape is transforming quickly, and the explosion of AI in recent months is leaving cyber-criminals licking their lips over the potential to exploit algorithms on a mass and potentially catastrophic scale in 2023.
“The reality is the old ways of working are no longer enough to win the fight against cyber-criminals. One of the key ways to turn the tide in 2023 is by adopting a hacking mindset. This means not only developing clever defense techniques but staying one step ahead of the game by thinking like an attacker, so vulnerabilities are found before the bad guys find them first.”
Haris Pylarinos continues, “CTFs are a highly effective way to learn this mindset and gain experience in tackling real attack scenarios but in an engaging way. Participating in CTFs is also a great way for self-taught hackers or IT professionals to demonstrate their proactivity and eagerness to develop their cyber skill set in a competitive market.
“We’re proud to host one of the biggest CTFs worldwide that is open to all skill levels and ages. Only by loosening the red tape and making cyber training accessible to all can we hope to plug the skills gap once and for all.”
Teams consisting of 1-20 players can enter the CTF from anywhere in the world for free, with challenge categories ranging from ‘Beginner to Hard’. The CTF style will be Jeopardy, including Web, Cryptography, Forensics, Reverse Engineering, Hardware, and Pwn. As well as cash and swag prizes, certificates of participation, and scores can be earned for participating, with proceeds also being donated to Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian medical organisation supporting Syria, Haiti, Ukraine, and more than 70 countries with lifesaving care.
Registration closes on March 23rd at - 1 PM UTC.