As the cyber skills gap widens to record new levels, disruptive cybersecurity training and upskilling platform, Hack The Box (HTB), has announced its annual global University ‘Capture the Flag’ (CTF) competition that will take place from 2nd – 4th December 2022.
This year’s event, which is open to students and academics at higher education institutions worldwide, is designed to inspire and prepare a new generation of security professionals to join the fight against cybercrime, at a time when they are most needed with the global talent shortage standing at 3.4 million.1
With attacks spiking 28% in the last quarter of 2022 alone2, and cybercrime predicted to cost the global economy $10.5 trillion3 by 2025, students taking part will learn only the latest practical hacking skills needed to combat the ever-growing and evolving volume of sophisticated threats. Higher education professionals will also be introduced to innovative and effective new methods of gamified and hands-on teaching.
HTB’s University CTF will see students across the globe face over 20 sophisticated cyber challenges, testing their skills in Cloud, Crypto, Pwn, Web, Forensics and more. This year’s challenges replicate the latest attack scenarios and cybercriminal techniques, helping to ensure students of all levels are prepared for a career in modern day cybersecurity.
This year’s CTF aims to shine a light on cyberbullying and create an inclusive space where students all over the world can gain access to the latest skills and networks but also learn in an interactive, enjoyable and safe environment. Titled ‘Supernatural Hacks’ this year’s CTF focuses on helping students to interact safely online and build their digital citizenship, all whilst teams work together in a fictional wizarding world to defeat cybers darkest villains. Proceeds from the competition are being donated to Cybersmile, a multi-award- winning nonprofit organisation committed to digital wellbeing and tackling all forms of abuse and bullying online.
Haris Pylarinos, CEO and co-founder of Hack The Box, says: “Universities are the breeding ground for the next generation of cyber professionals, and its critical students have experience tackling real world threats. The massive rise in the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks, means demand for new skills is booming and the old ways are no longer working.”
“CTFs are a highly effective way to learn hands-on cyber skills through fun, gamified content. We’re seeing students join to not only sharpen their skills but also network with like-minded peers looking to enter a career in cyber. The competition is also an opportunity for academics and universities to learn new teaching methods that promote a ‘hacking mindset’ approach, needed to match the current threat landscape.”
Haris continues “The game has changed in cyber. Arbitrary degree and qualification hiring criteria needs to be phased out and businesses must prioritise practical-based skills and training experience. This will help cut the red tape holding back an untapped pool of highly skilled cyber talent waiting in the wings.
Meanwhile, for younger generations increasingly looking for professions with purpose, hacking presents not only lucrative career prospects but an opportunity to do meaningful work stopping cybercriminal online – protecting businesses, governments, hospitals, schools and individuals from dangerous real-life threats. We’re excited to continue preparing the hackers of the future.”
Last year’s University CTF winners included players from some of the biggest universities and schools in the world, University of Warwick, Hasso-Plattner Institute and 42 Paris. With more students looking to upskill themselves than ever, HTB University CTF has also seen a 191% increase in participation from 2021 to 2021, with 2022 set to see record levels of participants.
Teams, consisting of 1- 20 players, can enter the CTF from anywhere. All skill levels are welcome with challenge categories ranging from ‘Beginner to Hard’. The CTF style will be Jeopardy and FullPwn. As well as cash, swag prizes, and certificates of attendance can be earned for taking part
Hack The Box’s University CTF is sponsored by EY.
Registration closes on 30th November, sign up here.