Getting Started in CTFs

My last post was about getting started in a career in information security. This post is about the sport end of information security: Capture the Flag (CTFs).

I’d played around with some wargames (Smash the Stack, Over the Wire, and Hack this Site) before, but my first real CTF (timed, competitive, etc.) was the CTF run by Mad Security at BSides SF 2013. By some bizarre twist of fate, I ended up winning the CTF, and I was hooked. I’ve probably played in about 30 CTFs since, most of them online with the team Shadow Cats. It’s been a bumpy ride, but I’ve learned a lot about a variety of topics by doing this.

If you’re in the security industry and you’ve never tried a CTF, you really should. Personally, I love CTFs because they get me to exercise skills that I never get to use at work. They also inspire some of my research and learning. The only problem is making the time. :)

Here’s some resources I’ve thought were interesting: