Tandy School hosts Capture the Flag cybersecurity event

The University of Tulsa Tandy School of Computer Science hosted a Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition May 13-15. A total of 850 high school, college and all-age teams from around the world participated.

Teams were required to solve challenges ranging from finding secret data in captured internet traffic to extracting a GIF from the data to reverse engineer a game. Categories included exploitation, reverse engineering, cryptography, web and miscellaneous. The event was held to introduce people to new ways of hiding information and solving the puzzles to recover it. TU computer science faculty, students and alumni helped facilitate the contest.

cyber competition

“The tools and skills used to compete in this game are directly applicable to real world security issues,” said Gavin Bauer (BS ’16). “Big attacks are often the inspiration behind creating a challenge.”

TUCTF was an introductory competition with 38 challenges administered securely so that when people attacked only one challenge was intentionally vulnerable. Bauer said the system was stress tested prior to the event to resolve any server issues that might arise with high traffic.

The top three college teams were from Ukraine, Taiwan and Germany. The best three high schools were from the Czech Republic and the United States. Contest sponsors included Cyclonic Valve, Phillips 66, True Digital Security, The University of Tulsa, Powerup Toys, Synercon Technologies and the F0rge at TU.