“Capture The Flag” (CTF) competitions (in the cybersecurity sense) are not related to running outdoors or playing first-person shooters. Instead, they consist of a set of computer security puzzles (or challenges) involving reverse-engineering, memory corruption, cryptography, web technologies, and more. When players solve them they get a “flag,” a secret string which can be exchanged for points. The more points a team earns, the higher up it moves in rank.
Google runs a CTF competition in two rounds: an online qualification round and an onsite final round. The top 10 teams from the qualification round will be invited to the finals to compete onsite for a prize pool of more than USD $31,337. In addition to the grand prizes, some of the best and creative write-ups that we receive during the qualifying round will be rewarded as well. We want to give you an opportunity to share with the world the clever ways you solve challenges.
At Google, we believe that CTFs are not just a good way for security pros to get better at what they do, but also a fun way to get into the cybersecurity field. That’s why along with the main Google CTF competition there is also a Beginner’s Quest for folks who want to get started.