Hackers of the World Unite

Vienna University of Technology Wins UCSB Hacking Competition

The 2006 installment of UCSB’s International Capture the Flag competition ended on Fri., Dec. 8. “We 0wn Y0u,” the entrants from the Vienna University of Technology, took first place. For the uninitiated, this Capture the Flag tournament — often abbreviated as iCTF — differs from the usual summer camp variety. It pits teams of hackers, representing various schools or universities, in “wide-area security exercise” which ends when one team finds the flag. While hunting for this digital goal, contestants must work to secure vulnerabilities on their own team’s server while simultaneously trying to exploit the security weaknesses of their opponents.

This year’s six-hour competition proved to be the largest UCSB has hosted yet: In addition to 15 teams representing American schools, hackers from Germany, Austria, Italia, Russia and Australia also participated. Each team participates in a site local to their school. This quality distinguishes iCTF from other hacking competitions, which usually necessitate entrants to be in the same physical location. This year’s competition marks the fifth anniversary of iCIF, which is loosely based on the Capture the Flag competition held at the Def Con hacker convention held annually in Las Vegas.

The UCSB team came in first place in last year’s iCIF competition.

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