5 min read

Hack The Box and Academia: A Winning Combo

MIT, University of Tampa, and Auburn University are some of the over 550 schools that choose Hack The Box. Your university can join us! Here's why and how.

Sep 23

Hackers know Hack The Box is the ultimate playground for improving their cybersecurity skills. Businesses know that we can provide their employees with fun, engaging, and meaningful cybersecurity training. But did you know that Hack The Box also works with academic institutions all over the world?

Colleges and universities leverage Hack The Box to give their cyber programs a top-notch hacking platform for students to put their skills to the test. Our Dedicated Labs teach real cyber offense skills. HTB Academy features interactive and guided training courses on a wide range of cybersecurity topics, from OSINT research to SQL injection. And each university gets a dedicated webpage for students to track their progress. 

We do our best to support education. Academic institutions receive a special discount for all premium training services. Click here to contact us and learn more. We also have a "Student Sub" for HTB Academy. Students can sign up with their academic email address (using their school’s domain name). Users enrolled for this subscription get access to all modules up to Tier II for £6 per month. Read all about it here

Angelos Liapas

Interview with HTB’s Angelos Liapas

Angelos Liapas is our Account Executive who works directly with our academic partners to collaborate to train their students to become master cyber pros. I spoke with him for insight on what our University program is all about.

Kim “Crowgirl” Crawley: How does Hack The Box help universities?

Angelos: Hack The Box is a necessary complement to the more theoretical education that universities offer. It's the practical training ground that professors and students need in order for the knowledge they receive to be as close to realistic market standards as possible. Because this in turn will help students be better prepared for the market. It’s also a great marketing tool that helps universities attract students. They can tell them that we train you to be market ready, and you will find a job easily after graduating. Another advantage is that using Hack The Box saves schools lots of money. Developing and maintaining a virtualized penetration testing platform from scratch can cost millions of dollars and requires a lot of extra faculty labor hours.

Crowgirl: What are the services that we offer to universities?

Angelos: The services that are more popular for universities are our free enrollment, HTB Academy, our Dedicated Labs and finally the CTFs. The free enrollment gives them the opportunity to create their very own page on our site for their university. They can encourage their students to use it, and rank their work against other universities globally. HTB Academy combines theoretical knowledge with practical exercises that introduce students to the fundamentals of cybersecurity and can take them up to very expert topics of it. Dedicated Labs is more about what I described earlier; practical experience with work on HTB VMs to complement theoretical knowledge. CTFs are mostly requested by student cyber teams or cyber communities, while the annual HTB UNI CTF is an excellent opportunity for all to test their skills on a global academic scale. I have met a couple of interesting cases where universities use CTFs to attract high school students to their cyber programs. One other great thing we do for universities is that we can map our Dedicated Labs content to their curriculum. For example, if they have an Ethical Hacking course in a Master’s degree program, they can easily see which virtual machines complement the course, and spawn them to their Dedicated Labs for that semester or so.

Many universities work with HTB.

Many of the best and brightest

Here’s a list of some of the academic institutions that have chosen to leverage Hack The Box. Sorry that there are so many, I don’t have room in this blog post! There are over 550 of them:

  • Sheffield Hallam University

  • Mount St. Mary’s University

  • University of Bedfordshire

  • University of Tampa

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Auburn University

  • Warwick University

  • Coventry University



Arjen Wiersma, Professor from Hogeschool NOVI:

“Hack The Box has allowed Hogeschool NOVI to enrich its cybersecurity curriculum with a broad spectrum of training machines to take the materials from theory to practice. The students form a valuable community in our dedicated environment and challenge each other to become better, adding a gaming element to cybersecurity education.

Maarten Sourbron, Professor from PXL School:

“The practical, real-life labs allow our students to learn new concepts in a controlled environment. Where the different boxes provide them with a wide array of community-driven and curated content, adding them to the labs gives us as teachers and coaches good insights of their progress and learning paths.”

Jurd Damian, Professor from Macquarie University:

“The ability provided by Hack The Box’s Dedicated Labs to run both retired boxes with documented walkthroughs, as well as new boxes provides a learning environment which has become an integral component of our penetration testing units.”

Alireza Jolfaei, Program Leader of Cyber Security at Macquarie University:

“Hack The Box provides an intuitive and fun environment for top-class CTF events, making it easy for students to join, practice and compete. We have had 6 CTFs organised with HTB already and they have been valuable partners both in terms of developing high-quality custom content and providing professional, direct support before and during the CTF event.”

UNI CTF 2021

Check out our upcoming UNI CTF 2021

Capture The Flag games teach offensive cyber skills, and are a lot of fun to compete in. Hack The Box runs its annual UNI CTF event that universities around the world participate in. Enrollment and participation is free, and your team can win amazing prizes. Read all about UNI CTF 2020 on our blog. Our UNI CTF 2021 is coming up very soon. Please follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter for updates about the event. We’ll let you know our plans for UNI CTF 2021 and when you can register a team from your school.


Connect with “HTB for Universities” today

If you want to discover how Hack The Box can enhance your school’s cyber education, the first step takes a few seconds through our web form

You can also learn more about our University services through our website.

Let’s get in touch!

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