A Capture The Flag (CTF) event is a hacking/cybersecurity competition, including a variety of fields, such as websec, reverse engineering, OSINT, lockpicking and many more.

The goal of every challenge is to find the “flag”, which is an easily recognizable string of the form uhctf{...}.

The CTF is organized by students and alumni of Hasselt University, with the intent to trigger interests in cybersecurity (and to choose a career path in the field). We get support from Hasselt University, the Faculty of Sciences and the Course organizing group of Computer Science.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Why might I want to participate?

For students yet undecided on which master profile(s) to choose, this is a great chance to get a taste of the Networking & Security profile. Have you ever considered a career in ethical hacking, incident response, or malware analysis? There is a big demand in all of these fields.

The UHCTF is a stepping stone towards larger CTF’s, like the CSCBE and Google CTF, which help you meet some of the best employers in the industry, and which offer amazing prizes for the winners, like a trip to the US, or a helicopter flight with Belgian Defense.

Each year, we have some prizes for the winning teams, and a goodie for everyone.

Free food and drinks!

It’s fun!

But I know nothing about cyber security.

No specific technical knowledge is required, any 1st bachelor can participate. Many of the challenges are aimed towards novices, and hints are available for the more difficult challenges. The UHCTF is just as much a playground as it is a proving ground. The main purpose is to learn to hack, and to have fun while doing it.

Also, the hints are changed from previous years. This year, you only have to pay the price for the hint if you solve the challenge. So there’s no harm in buying hints for challenges that you still cannot solve. So don’t hesitate to buy one if you’re stuck. We especially encourage earlier years to buy hints. It is normal that you don’t know everything yet.

Do I have to prepare?

No. You could boot up a VM with Kali Linux, the de facto OS for hackers, but it is not required to participate. The more technical challenges will often include a quick guide on how to use the relevant tools, and like any CTF, we allow free access to the Internet during the competition, so no need to study anything.