With less than six months on the cybersecurity scene, CodiLime’s CS16 team has made it clear that it belongs among the world’s best in the business. Earlier this month, CS16 placed second in the Capture the Flag (CTF) Finals 2016 competition at DefCamp – Central-Eastern Europe’s most important hacking and information security conference held in Bucharest, Romania.
The DefCamp CTF computer security competition took place over 24 hours starting on November 10th, with 16 teams from Japan, Poland, Ukraine, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, France, Taiwan, Romania, Israel and Singapore participating. As in all CTF competitions, the teams were tasked with to solving a number of challenges from various security categories such as reverse engineering, web application hacking, pwning and cryptanalysis. At DefCamp CTF, challenges included communication protocols for Internet of Things-connected appliances.
CS16 successfully solved 18 of 19 problems, completing the last one with just 15 minutes left on the clock. The winning team, Japan’s scryptos, also solved 18 problems but edged-out CS16 with a faster finish. Points won in CTF competitions held during a year are the basis for the all-important CTFtime annual rankings. Among the 14 teams finishing behind CS16 at D-CTF was Ukraine’s DCUA – currently the #1 ranked team in CTFtime’s 2016 rankings.
Captained by Robert Tomkowski, CS16 also includes Borys Poplawski, Marcin Koscielnicki and Maciej Pytel. Earlier this year, Tomkowski and Poplawski placed 19th out of a field of several hundred teams in the DefCamp CTF Qualifications, giving CS16 a place in the final event. In Bucharest, the team was bolstered by CodiLime’s Adam Iwaniuk, who usually competes as a member of Dragon Sector – Poland’s top CTF team which has finished in the top 3 in the last three CTFtime annual rankings.
“We’re very proud of our second-place finish at the D-CTF finals – the result shows that we can successfully compete with the best hacker teams in the world. Each competition gives us a tremendous amount of new experiences, such as learning to solve problems under extreme time pressure and physical exhaustion. It’s also a great motivator to continuously expand our knowledge – we can be sure that any newly discovered vulnerability or attack will show up at the next CTF,” commented team captain Robert Tomkowski. “Of course, D-CTF is just one step toward our ultimate target: the overall CTFtime team ranking. This year, we’re among ranked in the top 40, but 2016 is just a warm-up for us. We started competing in June – after many of the competitions that go into this year’s ranking were already completed. Our ambition is to be among the top-3 CTF teams in the world.”
CS16 team members are part of CodiSec, CodiLime’s rapidly growing cyber-security business unit. Beside taking part in CTF competitions, CodiSec is currently developing a soon-to-be released open-source binary file analysis tool combining decompilator, hex editor, disassembler and binary data visualisation features.