Capture the Flag: An Owner’s Manual

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 1:30pm2:00pm

Vito Genovese, Partner, Legitimate Business Syndicate


Capture the Flag is a genre of hacking competitions that turn vulnerability research into a real-time multiplayer game between teams of experts. Competing in a CTF is extremely challenging and demanding, and organizing one immediately presents a greater challenge: how do you run a competition for clever and creative computer hackers that love nothing more than breaking rules, voiding assumptions, and infiltrating infrastructure? It’s complicated.

This talk explores what it takes to build a team, design principles for a fun contest, the art of starting on time, and keeping momentum for successive contests. We’ll also be looking at the differences between CTF organizing teams, CTF competing teams, and modern commercial devops teams, and some of the common ways all these teams mature, grow, and change over time.

Vito Genovese, Partner, Legitimate Business Syndicate

Vito Genovese is a founding member of Legitimate Business Syndicate, organizers of DEF CON Capture the Flag starting in 2013. Vito's work includes building infrastructure for distributed software development, designing and building both cloud-based and on-site scoring systems for cybersecurity games, visual design and branding of competition materials, picking fonts, sourcing coffee and other beverages, and writing public material for the Legitimate Business Syndicate blog and Twitter accounts.

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@conference {206277,
author = {Vito Genovese},
title = {Capture the Flag: An {Owner{\textquoteright}s} Manual},
year = {2016},
address = {San Francisco, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jan

Presentation Video