Volunteer Judging BSides Brisbane x Trace Labs Missing CTF

Brisbane CTF

Last night, I spent my Friday participating in another OSINT CTF, this time as a judge. The BSides Brisbane x Trace Labs Missing CTF: OSINT CTF For Missing Persons, is a CTF event hosted all the way in Brisbane, Australia. It’s like the Pride Toronto x Trace Labs Missing CTF: OSINT CTF for Missing Persons event from earlier this month. Instead contestants are assisting the Queensland Police in doing reconnaisance on 10 missing persons.

Brisbane Setup

With less than 2 hours left until the event starts, I thought I would get everything setup. I immediately noticed when I signed into the platform that everything looks familiar with a few small differences from the contestants view of the platform.

The top 2 boxes… Instead of showing Pennding, Approvedd, Rejected, it just welcomes the signed in judge and the countdown timer. Also the right pane has the “Incoming Feed” where whenever contestants submit information in real-time it slides into the feed. No need to refresh the page.

I tried utliziing my entire desktop space. I wanted to make sure I was able to refernce everything very quickly and not be scrambling to find something. I wanted to be able to reference all the missings persons whenevr I would need to validate information the police have already provided to ensure the contestants don’t submit duplicate information. I also had to keep Slack open, because 1. I had to communicate with the rest of the judges and admins if I was unsure of any information and 2. provide details as to why I have declined information about a teams submission. I also want to make sure I can see the scoreboard for a quick reference as to who is winning, and how progress is made through the event. The cateogies tab had to be easily accessible because I had to identify which information gives how many points.

Brisbane CTF Started

Let the games begin! When 8pm EST hit I was prepared. I noticed that they added a couple more missing persons to the list; which makes it better for contestants to achieve more points if needed. With the first team already submitting information the admins administer the team to the judges by whoever answers first. I didn’t hesitate and took the very first team that submitted the information.

From then on this part of the event I became very familiar with it very quickly. As you can recall from my last OSINT CTF event, I was the only person in the group that was able to submit any requests to the judges. And this felt exactly like that. I’m getting information sent to me that I need to validate and see if it complies with the rules and categories. Not only did the previous event help me with judging but all my previous co-op experiences as well.

Brisbane Progress

I apologies for the way the picture looks, when the photo was taken it was midnight. The f.lux app warms up my computer display so it doesn’t strain my eyes at night. As you can see with 2 hours into the CTF only 2 teams out of 12 were submitting information. The team I was judging had the most submissions of information, and I’m thankful for that because for every submission they submitted it made me use my abilty analyze information and take appropriate action based on what was submitted for reviewing.

Brisbane Final

With the event coming to an end, I wanted to give thanks to Trace Labs for giving people a chance ot judge even without any prior knowledge or experience. Judging wasn’t all that different than participating as a contestant for this type of event. They do have their small differences but nothing too major to comment on. Having being a participant and a judge, I noticed that when judging the 2 teams mainly used Facebook to do their reconnsaisance on the missing persons. I found out that they rarely used sources outside of Facebook.

As a judge making sure you are referencing the rules and categories to award contestants the correct points is vital. This has a lot of impact on the teams pivoting ability. As a judge you use your best judgement to identify what information will be accepted and passed onto the police. We don’t want information that they already know or it would be a waste of time for them.

Overall, this was a new experience for me, even though only 2 teams participated in it. I had the chance to judge them and use what I’ve learnt from school and my co-op placements to help.