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What is a CTF?

A CTF, or "Capture the Flag" competition, is a type of computer security contest. Strings of text, referred to as "flags," are hidden or encrypted in a series of challenges. During the competition, participants try to decrypt, hack, reverse-engineer, or exploit the challenges in order to gain access to the flag. For each flag retrieved, the team gets a certain number of points, and teams with the most points win.

How will UTCTF be run?

UTCTF will consist of several dozen problems that gradually increase in difficulty (and point value). The categories will include Binary Exploitation, Networking, Reverse Engineering, Cryptography, Web, and more. Some problems can be solved in a matter of minutes, while others may take hours. The source code and problem solutions will be released after the competition has ended.

Who can compete? Who can win prizes?

The top 3 teams will each win up to $200 worth of prizes. Additionally, each winner of the writeup contest will win up to $50 worth of prizes. The contest will be open to anyone around the world, but only teams that have an address within the United States will be eligible for prizes. There is no limit to team sizes, but we will only be shipping enough prizes for 4 people for each winning team ($50 per team member). Team members do not need to be from the same location; however, prizes will only be shipped to one location.


6 PM CDT on March 29th, to 6 PM CDT on March 31st, 2024.


The competition will be completely free, and run entirely online - the only materials teams will need are a working computer with internet access and the ability to run desktop applications. Competitors should register online to form a team - registration will be opened soon, and can be done at any point before or during the contest. If you are a UT student feel free to come to our kickoff March 29th from 6 PM to 9 PM in GDC 2.216--food will be provided!

How will the writeup contest work?

Writeup submissions will be accepted during UTCTF, and up to 48 hours after the contest ends. Then, the ISSS officer team will judge the writeups. We will be giving out prizes for "Most well written", "Most technically interesting", and "Best unintended solution."

What is allowed?

What is not allowed?

Who is running UTCTF?

UTCTF is being run by students at The University of Texas at Austin within the Information & Systems Security Society (ISSS).