TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's team at DEF CON 31, an international hacking conference in Las Vegas, won third place, ahead of teams from other Asian nations such as China, Japan, and South Korea.
Taiwan's team competed under the name "TWN48" as a tribute to the Japanese musical girl group AKB48. Team members from diverse backgrounds showed remarkable teamwork as they navigated difficult challenges, per LTN.
Competing against 12 teams in DEF CON CTF (Capture the Flag), TWN48 won third place, behind international runner-up, Blue Water, and the champion, Maple Mallard Magistrates from Carnegie Mellon University.
It was the 10th time Taiwan participated in DEF CON CTF, with this year’s team comprised of students from various Taiwan universities, information security communities, and industry members. Out of 54 team members, 19 are professionally employed and 35 are students.
To qualify for the finals, 1,828 teams competed in the preliminary rounds. Taiwan's team ranked fifth before DEF CON 31, and after four days, they rose to third place in the international competition.
National Taiwan University (NTU) Department of Information Engineering Professor Hsiao Hsu-chun (蕭旭君) said Taiwan’s achievement should not be understated given the strong teams in attendance. He said teamwork, communication, and pre-match preparation were important in this event.
From the end of the preliminary competition until the final round, Taiwan's team members conducted online meetings every two weeks to develop tools for the competition, including attack management programs, packet analysis tools, program correction tools, and statistical tools.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Digital Affairs expressed pride in Taiwan’s accomplishments and said that the promotion of large-scale information security competitions can provide young people in Taiwan with valuable education and practical experience. In the future, such events will enhance Taiwan's international reputation, visibility, and competitiveness.