Taiwan team places second at DEF CON hacker competition in Las Vegas

Taiwanese teams HITCON x BFKinesiS join forces, take second in 27th annual DEF CON's CTF event

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 Taiwan's HITCON x BFKinesiS (Photo taken from HITCON Facebook page)

Taiwan's HITCON x BFKinesiS (Photo taken from HITCON Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A team representing Taiwan at the 27th annual DEF CON hacker convention won second place in the Capture the Flag (CTF) event, which took place Aug. 9 to 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada, after three days of sleepless nights and computational problem-solving.

This is the sixth time a Taiwanese team has participated in CTF. This year, the veteran HITCON (Hacks in Taiwan Convention) team joined forces with newcomers BFKinesiS to bag second place.

The American team PPP (Plaid Parliament of Pwning) emerged victorious on its home soil. Coming in third were the Tea Deliverers from China.

According to HITCON CTF leader Li Lun-zhen (李倫銓), last year's champion, South Korea-based DEKFOROOT, was notably absent, writes iThome Computer Weekly. However, this year's event did see the competitive participation of three other South Korean teams: CGC Three, KaisHack GoN and SeoulPlusBadAss.

Li praised the skill of the competitor PPP, which has won five of the past seven CTFs at the Vegas-based convention. He also acknowledged Chinese teams A*O*E Tencent United and the Changting Technology Deliverers as powerhouses not to be ignored.

Li said his team's mission this year was to carry on the legacy of HITCON, which placed 2nd and 3rd in the 2017 and 2018 editions of the event, respectively, as well as to combine the efforts of his experienced team members with those of BFKinesiS, which represents the new generation. Hence, the HITCON x BFKinesiS was born.

BFKinesiS organizer Zheng Xinming (鄭欣明), an associate professor of civil engineering, said that once both groups of Taiwanese hackers decided to participate in this year's DEF CON, they were in constant communication on matters ranging from their respective expertise to the division of labor. Zheng believes such communication and collaboration was beneficial to his team's less experienced hackers, according to iThome Computer Weekly.

In the past, Taiwan would only send one team to DEF CON, and thus the funding, provided exclusively by Trend Micro, Inc. was sufficient. However, starting last year, the participation of two teams was made possible by contributions from Taiwan's I-MEI Foods Co., Ruiyang Technology, and software company Openfind.