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10 December 2007, 10:12

Italians win international hacking competition

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This year's international Capture the Flag (CTF) hacking competition has been won by Milan University's team Chocolate Makers. Mannheim University's team Squareroots came in second, and the HackerDom team from the Russian Ural State University won third place. Last year's winners, We_0wn_Y0u of TU Vienna only came in fourth this year.

Lagging the field came one of the hosting university's teams, Hexadecimators of the University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB), the DoS DevilZ team of Amrita School of Engineering Amritapuri, India and the Graham Crackers of American Penn State University. A total of 36 teams from all over the world - eight of them German - participated in the competition.

The organisers occupied the teams for just under seven hours with tasks involving seven different services. Each of these specially written services contained vulnerabilities, by finding which the flags could be obtained. The competitors then had to create patches for the services. Additional tasks had to be completed in reverse engineering, crypto and forensics. Among other tasks, competitors had to extract the finger print of a GPG key from a given disk image, determine the crypto key of a program and extract additional information from a network dump.

The UCSB's IT department is not the only host of these popular CFT events. The world's largest CTF competition runs for several days and is organised by the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas every year.

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