September 07, 2019
Global CyberLymics is an online cyber security competition. It enabled teams from around the world to compete against each other in a series of challenges (Jeopardy-style CTFs). If you are unfamiliar with this what this is, its simply a range of categories: Web Exploitation, Forensic, Crypto, Reverse Engineering, Binary, etc. Each category has several challenges with points associated with the - low the point easier the challenge, and vice-versa.
This event is a 12-hour online elimination round. The two teams with the highest score from each continent are then invited to compete in person at the Global CyberLympics World Finals event.
Full disclosure: This event was not what the team and I thought. The first 4 hours of the event was all Digital Forensic challenges. No one on the team has much experience with investigating and analyzing files at this kind of level. We struggled A LOT but as a team we learned a lot at the same time.
The GT Cybersecurity team consists of students and cyber security professionals just breaking into the industry. The team captain was generous enough to host the event at his place for a more intimate session.
Here we can see the team profile. The rest of the teams name was blacked out for privacy reasons, of course. But, we can see everyone is ready to rock and roll!
As mentioned aboved in the Full Disclosure, the first bunch of challenges that popped up were all forensic based. Nobody on the team has little to no experience doing this type of work. So we were struggling for quite a while on the early challenges.
Typically we would pick a challenge - indicated with a red dot on the map. Follow by picking a challenge, a description regarding the challenge is provided. From there some sort of link or ip adress is provided with a password associated with it to download the file or visit the system/website.
Just over an hour into the competition, the team and I have noticed that the challenges so far were all Forensic-based. This was an issue because none of us have real or enough experience dealing with these sort of challenges. On the positive sidem we were all able to tackle the Forensic challenges and work through through the problems as a team. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to solve the problems. But this gave us a good indication of what we need to work on.
Here is an updated picture. Roughly 3 more hours passed by and, we were still receiving Forensic-based challeneges. We decided to move onto the new continent that has been discovered and see if we were able to solve those challenges.
Sadly, we were unable to solve the new challenges in the new continent. Its 2am and at this point the the entire team was exhausted and unmotivated. 5 hours has passed and we were yet to solve one challenege.
Even though we weren’t able to solve a single challenge, we were able to see many different problems we typically wouldn’t see. Working as a team and talk through the problems where everyone is stumped brings a uncommon experience to everyone on the team.