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Taiwan team clinches 3rd place at international hacking competition

Teams from South Korea and the U.S. win first and second prizes, respectively

Taiwan team HITCON clinches 3rd place at international hacking competition (Photo by FB HITCON)

Taiwan team HITCON clinches 3rd place at international hacking competition (Photo by FB HITCON)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s HITCON team has claimed the third place at the 26th edition of the CTF (Capture the Flag) hacking tournament of which the finals took place between August 9 and 12 at Caesars Palace and Flamingo Hotels in Las Vegas.

Part of the annual DEFCON hackers’ convention and organized by Order-of-the-Overflow (O.O.O.) for the first time, the competition saw South Korea’s DEFKOROOT win the first place and PPP from the U.S. take home the second prize, reported iThome on August 13.

Unlike past events, this year the contest featured games combining “Attack and Defense” as well as “King of the Hill” types. The scores depend on the amount of time players keep control of a server, while players work to identify loopholes of the server. They will then code malware based on the flaws and attack the other teams by compromising their servers, thus acquiring ‘tokens’ or ‘flags.’

Taiwan’s experienced HITCON team, which did not deliver an impressive performance on the first day of the finals, managed to catch up and gain more scores on the second day thanks to its adjustment of strategies and good teamwork, the report said, citing observations from a cyber security expert present at the event.

“The key to accumulating one’s hacking skills is through participating in CTF competitions,” said a HITCON player.

BFS, the other team from Taiwan which also made the finals, comprises greenhorn players trained in the Ministry of Education-sponsored Advanced Information Security Summer School program. Though the team members failed to win prizes this year, they were offered an opportunity to horn their hacking techniques through exchanges with other top talent in the field, reported iThome.

The cyber security expert, who expressed opinions on condition of anonymity, urged the Taiwan government, which has declared that "Cyber Security equals National Security,” to pursue a path that focuses on long-term fostering of IT security professionals and industry development, rather than adopting a short-sighted approach that seeks to reap immediate success, wrote iThome.