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Showing posts from June, 2019

A Primer for On-Site CTFs

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I have been to many CTFs over the last five or six years and I wanted to share some tips, tricks, and advice for beginners. My hope is that this post helps those who are new to CTFs by sharing what I pack in my "go-to-war" bag, what some of the non-standard tools I use are, and how I spin up cloud based systems.

Go-to-War
When the CTF room opens up, the first problem is finding a place to sit. I like to get to the room as soon as possible to ensure that we have a decent place to setup. For example, all of the Defcon villages on day one are crowded and intense. I encourage everyone that's serious about the event to line up well before it opens. Also, the CTF and the village talks are generally held in the same room so it is likely going to be noisy and seating will be limited. My advice is to sit as close to the infrastructure as possible.

It doesn't hurt to have a plan in place about approaching the challenges before you get there incase you can only tolerate a coupl…