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Team scores against team

Who is successful at “Capture the flag”?

How can security measuresbe circumvented? And how can you protect yourself from online attacks? For one week in the winter semester 2023, several teams set out to slip into the roles of attackers, look for security vulnerabilities directly and then successfully exploit them.

Gewinnerteams beim Hacking Wettbewerb Capture the Flag an der Hochschule Hof im B-Foyer mit Urkunden; Gruppenfoto
Photo: Hof University of Applied Sciences

When a team has found security vulnerabilities, it scores points.

“The fact that we were able to divide up the specialist areas within the team made it easy to do.”

Paul Schaller and Julian Köglmeier from the Cringe Studios team
Teams beim Programmieren mit Laptops an einem Gruppentisch für den Wettbewerb Capture the Flag
Photo: Hof University of Applied Sciences

Students can try out the hacking game “Capture The Flag” in the elective module “Applied IT Security” with Prof. Florian Adamsky. The format took place for the second time at Hof University of Applied Sciences.

Only if you understand the attacker’s perspective can you secure information systems accordingly.”

Prof. Dr. Florian Adamsky, Professor of IT Security and Information Security Officer at Hof University of Applied Sciences

What happens to those who manage to circumvent the security gaps?

By entering a sequence of numbers and letters, known as a flag, points are credited to their account. In the end, the team that has managed to collect the most points within a week wins.

Capture the Flag is a popular game in the field of IT security. It is even played internationally and there are regular competitions where you can put your skills to the test. As I enjoyed taking part in such competitions myself, I found it a perfect opportunity to train the security mindset with the students, which is all about thinking like an attacker. In the exercises for the IT security lecture, the students are usually already aware of the security gaps and there is no particular incentive to find them out.

Prof. Dr. Florian Adamsky
Code Programmierung auf Laptop Screen
Photo: Hof University of Applied Sciences

in 2023 the teams placed as follows

1. 1st place: Cringe Studios

Paul Schaller

Julian Köglmeier

2. 1st place: Anti-Hacking Hacking Club

Andreas Schmidt (most points achieved as an individual)

Hannes Zeitler

3. Place: DROP TABLE

Niklas Demel

Sebastian Peschke

Prof. Dr. Florian Adamsky
Carolin Richter

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