Here are some questions we get asked a lot.
How can I help?
Thank you for wanting to help out. sCTF takes a lot of server resources, time, and money to manage.
sCTF is funded entirely out of pocket by Arun Dunna. To contribute to the prize pool, server resources, etc., or talk about sponsorships, contact us or simply send a donation to our official Bitcoin address:
What is a CTF?
Good question. CTF stands for "capture-the-flag," and there are two different styles of CTF competitions.
In which multiple questions, or problems, are given with varying point values based on the difficulty. Competitors then have to solve the problems to get the proper "flag," or answer, and then submit it to the scoring server. If it is deemed correct, points are awarded per the problem. If not, try again! At the end, all teams are ranked on a scoreboard based first on the amount of points, and second on the time completed, with the sooner completions getting a higher rank. Usually, types of problems include cryptography, algorithms, web, forensics, binary exploitation, steganography, and pwning, among others.
In which all teams have their own network or host that have native vulnerabilities. A certain amount of time is then given to all teams to patch their vulnerabilities, create honeypots, etc. to fortify their network/host. After that time is up, teams have to simultaneously attack and defend by hacking into opponents and defending their own network/host. Both attacking and defending get your team points, and then at the end, teams are ranked on the scoreboard based on the amount of points and time of gaining points just like in the jeopardy style.
So what about you guys?
Well, sCTF is an organization that puts together jeopardy-style competitions for high school and middle school students only. That way, students don't have to compete with the expertise of college teams. To find our competitions, check out our competitions page that's accessible from the navigation menu.
And because we're psychics, we know you're wondering what exactly a "quarter" is.
Well, it's a unit of currency! Hah, just kidding. We host competitions based off of quarters, or each 1/4 of the year. For example, Q1 is in the first bit of the year, and Q4 would be in the last bit.
What if I'm not in high school or middle school?
You can still compete! Just make sure that during the sign up, you specify when you choose your account type. There will be an option there for you to check off that you're not in high school or middle school. You won't be eligible for prizes or be on the scoreboard, but you can still compete!
How do I receive prizes?
If you are within the team range for prizes, you must live in the United States and be competing as a high school or middle school team without any rule violations. We'll contact the winning teams for distribution once everything has been sorted out, and if it takes a few weeks, don't worry! We haven't forgotten about you.
Prizes are announced specifically for each competition, as each competition is different.
What are the rules?
- sCTF is for high school and middle school students only. If you are at a higher level and want to compete, specify during sign up.
- Each team member must have their own account and sign on with and only with that account.
- Each team may have a maximum of 6 members. No more.
- No flag sharing. We can't stop you, but do keep in mind that each time you share a flag you're lowering your chances of winning.
- No asking for or obtaining assistance from other teams, adults, internet (i.e. StackOverflow), etc. You can Google or ask questions and such regarding certain parts of problems, such as how to generate a random number if that is in your solution, however you cannot simply copy and paste or reword the problem and ask it on StackOverflow.
- Absolutely no interfering with other teams, score server, website, etc. This includes, but is not limited to: DDoS, DoS, exploit, brute forcing the score server, and any other method of attack.
Scoring & Prizes
- Scoring is done primarily by point value and secondarily by time completed.
- For prizes, the winning team's leader will be contacted. The team leader is specified when creating the team. Distribution will go from there.
- Teams only in the United States are eligible for prizes. If a top team is out of the U.S., the next U.S. team in line will get the award.
Anyone caught in violation of these rules will not be included in the scoring system and further action will be taken if needed. We want to maintain a fair competition. Be respectful. All rulings of sCTF are final and decisions as well as judging made by sCTF are absolute. Any disputes will be handled by and will be at the sole discretion of sCTF.
Any other questions? Contact us.