SCSR students finishing 5th & 8th at Hack@10 Competition

3rd March 2018
UNITEN Serdang

Hack@10 is a security competition organized by the College of Computer Science and Information Technology, UNITEN aiming to search for new security talents among competitors and to reward those who have successfully demonstrated their cyber security knowledge and skills. Two teams consist of 3 students (per team) from Computer Networks & Security (SCSR) programme, Department of Computing Science, UTM Faculty of Computing have been chosen to compete in the competition. One of the teams, Buff3r_0verF1oW managed to rank 5th among 22 competing teams which entitled them to win RM500. Meanwhile, Grey Hat sat at the 8th place.

Prior to the competition, both teams have been conducting training and sharing sessions since early February as preparation. training sessions are usually done at night and during weekends at SCSR Lounge. These sessions are usually led by Shamsul Alam, the passionate leader of Buff3r_0verF1oW. Even though they have little time to train and other thing to commit, their passion and determination somehow make it possible for them to win. Hack@10 is a jeopardy-style (involve multiple categories of problems) competition, therefore knowledge in those various categories are needed to win the game. The strategy that both teams applied is to have each member to at least master one categories and the tools that can be used. In any computer security competition, it is important to understand the problems and having the right tools to use.

Training session done at SCSR Lounge.

The game start approximately at 10a.m. as soon as the contestant logged into the Hack@10 page. The aim was to find flags hidden in each question. the questions are grouped into 5 different categories which are Web, Steganography, Binary, Wargames and Trivia. Each question carries point ranging from 50 to 300 points. The number of points also indicate the difficulty of the question. The higher the points, the higher the difficulty. Contestants were given 6 hours to “hack” and they were free to rest whenever they want. Some will usually will stop to get some fresh air after a long session.

The game officially ended at 5 p.m. Buff3r_0verF1oW keeps accumulating points throughout the competition and finished in 5th place with the scores of 330 points. Team Grey Hat were only a few places behind, managed to finish in 8th place with total score of 280 points. Both team deserve compliments for finishing within the top 5 and top 10 despite having little experience competing in a computer security competition.

Buff3r_0verF1oW during prize giving ceremony

Winning is just supplementary, what matter the most is that they are given the chances to make use of their knowledge and skills. Such competitions are also a great place to meet people of the same interest and share knowledge. Hopefully students especially from the faculty of computing will be given full support and opportunity to participate in such competition.

“From Nothing to Something”

Report by Siti Zahidah 2SCSR