Frequently Asked Questions

Some tidbits you might want to know about HawkHacks CTF

HawkHacks CTF 2021 has been postponed. Stay tuned for more updates and information, and email [email protected] if you'd like to find out more.

About CTFs in general…

What is a CTF?

It stands for Capture the Flag. It’s a type of info security competition which often (but not always) requires programming knowledge. For each problem, you are given some information, a web link or download where you can find the problem, and a hint. Your job is to figure out the problem. When you have done so successfully, you will be given a flag in the form hawkHacks{string}, where string is a string consisting of letters, numbers, punctuation, and/or underscores. Enter the flag on the game website to get points for the problem. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the competition wins!

Still want to learn more about CTFs? We recommend this blog post or this YouTube video, both of which go into more detail about the format.

What types of problems are there?

Lots! Some test your general programming knowledge, others are about data, while others deal with web-related topics, or something else entirely. Each category has problems of varying difficulty levels. Whatever your interests, there will likely be something for you.

How can I prepare for the CTF?

  1. If you’re using a Windows computer, you should install the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Some problems may require it.
  2. You’ll likely want to download a code editor if you don’t have one already. Most of us (the organizers) use Visual Studio Code, but there are tons of options.
  3. If you’re working with a team, we’ve found it helpful to have at least the following prepared before the start of the CTF: A way to communicate with your teammates (preferably both voice and written), and a way to share code (e.g. VS Live Share if you use VS Code).
  4. Some problems are designed to be accessible to those with any amount of programming knowledge, while some harder problems may require previous knowledge to solve effectively. While we’re not going to give any specific info on problems before the competition starts, the best way to prepare is to get your hands dirty and code stuff!

About HawkHacks CTF…

When will the HawkHacks CTF be held?

HawkHacks CTF 2021 has been postponed. Stay tuned for more details.

How can I contact the CTF organizers?

Email us! We can be reached at [email protected], and we can likely help if you have questions about anything mentioned here or elsewhere on the site. Closer to the start of the competition, we will provide additional means to get in touch with us.