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CSAW Capture The Flag app security competition starts tomorrow

Sep 22, 20112 mins
Data and Information Security

Tomorrow begins the first phase of the CSAW Capture The Flag competition, designed to evaluate application security skills. Competitors will attack vulnerable applications and solve offensive challenges.

Challenges are divided into technical categories and assigned point values based on how difficult they are. The CSAW CTF is loosely based on the widely known DEFCON Capture The Flag competition. As with all competitions, it takes more than just skill to succeed; plan a strategy and put together a diverse team.

The contest — led by NYC security researcher Julian Cohen and Luis Garcia, a Master student at NYU:Poly, an ASPIRE scholar and a member of Information Systems and Internet Security lab — starts with the qualifier round from 8 p.m. tomorrow to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The final round takes place Nov. 10th-11th. Specifically:

* Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 12:00 EST to Friday, Nov. 11,

2011 12:00 EST

* Top 10 undergraduate teams from the United States who play according to the competition rules will be flown to New York to play in the Final Round.

As the event website notes, “The term Capture The Flag has a lot of history throughout the hacker community. We use the term because our challenge-based competition is centered around solving technical challenges to find flags and submit them for points.”

Here are some more raw event details from the website:


Qualification Round: Friday, September 23, 2011 20:00 EDT (-4) – Sunday, September 25, 2011 20:00 EDT (-4)

Starts at 8PM. 48 hours long.

Registration is Open.

Final Round: Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:00 EST (-5) – Friday, November 11, 2011 12:00 EST (-5)Starts at Noon. 24 hours long.

Top 10 Undergraduate teams from the United States who play according to the Competition Rules will be flown to New York to play in the Final Round.


Questions about the CSAW CTF should be directed to

Questions about NYU Poly’s Cyber Security Awareness Week should be directed to

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During the CTF, we will be using #csaw on port 6697 (ssl only).

–Bill Brenner

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