By participating in hacking challenges and competitions, CTFs offer an excellent opportunity to test and improve your security and problem-solving skills.
13 Nov 2023
3 min. read
Cybersecurity is not only an ever-evolving and increasingly important concern in our digital age, but it can also be a lot of fun. Capture The Flag competitions, also known as CTFs, have a lot to do with that.
Through hacking challenges of different difficulty levels and methods, these contests are designed to test a wide range of skills and knowledge related to cybersecurity as well as, more broadly, problem-solving skills. problem solving, collaboration and creativity. The ultimate goal is to get a “flag”, like a snippet of code, that proves the successful resolution of a challenge.
These games can be played individually or in teams, and the number of points you get for each challenge depends on its complexity, the time spent solving it, and the number of people in the team .
The main types of challenges include: reverse engineering, cryptography, forensic analysis, web security, open-source intelligence (OSINT) and binary exploitation. The modes can be danger, war games (attack and defense) or mixed.
Here are our top 5 recommendations for you to further improve your skills while enjoying CTFs:
Self-described as “a fun, free platform for learning modern cryptography”, Crypto Hack offers a variety of interactive challenges related to this exciting field. It also encourages continuous improvement through achievement awards and competitive levels. Challenges range from downloading vulnerable source code to decryption, making web requests to retrieve confidential data, and performing man-in-the-middle attacks. While most of the challenges require you to code a solution, they also provide snippets of Python source code that participants can adapt to their needs.
Hacking the Box
Hacking the Box allows individuals, businesses, government institutions and universities to sharpen their offensive and defensive security skills. It also has a CTF exercise section that includes risk-type challenges (on web security, cryptography, reverse engineering and forensics). There are also full-pwn machines with different vulnerabilities, attack paths, and operating systems, along with Active Directory labs that simulate real business environments with the latest method of attack. With over 500 organized CTFs, nearly 60,000 participating teams, and more than 200,000 flags successfully captured, Hack The Box is a popular choice for security people.
RingZer0 Team Online CTF
RingZer0 hosts 400-plus CTF exercises of varying difficulty and subject matter, from steganography and cryptography to reverse engineering and programming. It actively encourages community participation and invites participants to submit written solutions for each challenge they complete. If approved, these solutions can be exchanged for hints. The main goal is to encourage people to share their problem-solving methods and show different ways to tackle the same challenge.
TryHackMe offers a comprehensive training platform with content suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned hackers. The platform provides well-structured learning paths that strengthen information security knowledge through various tasks and challenges designed to achieve specific goals. With an active community of cybersecurity students and professionals, TryHackMe fosters knowledge sharing, enhancing the learning experience for all participants.
Desafío ESET (ESET challenge)
If you speak Spanish, go to the Spanish version of WeLiveSecurity with a feature called Desafíos ESET with more than 40 challenges specially developed by the ESET lab in Latin America. These exercises run the gamut and include detecting data exfiltration from a company, reverse engineering without code analysis, and analyzing samples to identify the spread of malware within an organization. . Each challenge includes comments, opinions, and questions contributed by the community to further enhance the training and learning experience.
It’s up to you. Apparently, these are just a few of the many websites that host competitions that provide valuable experience for security enthusiasts and professionals and ultimately boost their career prospects in the field. So keep exploring and participating in these fun-filled exercises and stay updated with the exciting challenges of CTF in the dynamic field that is security. Happy hacking!
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