HACKvent 2022 Write-up


Welcome to my HACKvent CTF competition write-up! I was fortunate enough to participate in this annual event for the seventh year. Each day in the lead-up to Christmas, a new cybersecurity challenge was released, testing my technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and time management as the challenges got progressively harder. Total points were only awarded to those who could solve the challenges within 24 hours – the last three challenges in the category “leet” within 48 hours.

I am thrilled to share that I solved 24 of the 25 challenges and 23 within the requested time frame this year, earning most of the points available. I completely skipped the challenge on day 24, as after 30 hours, nobody solved it, and I had yet to start with it. It was too much effort to tackle during the busy holiday season.

I want to extend a big thank you to all of the challenge authors, Compass Security, and especially Kuyaya, for his hard work in organizing this event and involving the participants in the decision-making process. I also want to thank my family and friends for their patience and understanding during the competition. I am excited to share my journey through this year’s competition with you, and I hope you enjoy reading my write-ups and learning from my experience.

When writing this blog post, I was first in the ranking as I was the only one who had solved the surprise challenge of day 25 till then.

Ranking, the 25th of December 20:00

Of course, this changed until the end of the competition, as other participants solved all the challenges in time. In the final ranking on the 31st of December 2022, I ended up in place #14.

Ranking, the 31st of December 23:59
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HACKvent 2020 write-up

What a blast!

I couldn’t wait for HACKvent to happen. The closer December came, the more excited I became. This year, HACKvent was the only CTF I participated in. There were so many things going on that I didn’t have the time and energy to participate in other CTFs in 2020.

All the sleepless nights were worth it. I managed to solve all challenges in time and finish HACKvent the third time in a row as one of the event’s perfect scorers. I ended up in 10th place in the official ranking, whereas the first 27th hackers got a perfect score. After participating at HACKvent for 5 years, I still don’t understand how the official ranking works, though. 😀


According to an unofficial ranking, which sorts by the accumulated time of all submitted solutions I am on the 14th place among all perfect scorers. With more than 12 days delay to the fastest hacker.


Thanks to my family for being able to handle my insomnia and my stress-level during this month. Thanks to ludus, jokker, multifred, marsh, veganjay, DrSchottky, explo1t, mtdcr, darkstar, and atwolf0, for all the good discussions. And thanks to Compass Security and all contributors for making HACKvent possible again.

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HACKvent 2019 write-up

HACKvent… Initially, I didn’t want to participate at all – or at least not go all in and solve every challenge in time. I started solving the first ones and as the challenges became harder and of course more interesting I got more and more hooked. In the end I did solve them all, and in time.

A big part of the CTF are interactions and discussions with other participants. Thanks and shouts to ludus, jokker, 0xI, multifred, veganjay and others for the good discussions, support and motivation!

This year the event ran on the brand new Hacking Lab 2.0. There are still some minor issues, like the responsive design which can be optimized. The session timeout was a bit short for my taste, but hey Security! 😄 Issues which occurred with some challenges were not Hacking Lab 2.0 related. All in all I got a very good impression of the new HL.

I will never understand how the ranking works in Hacking-Lab. There were three different rankings (the one in the registered event, a public one and a statistics page) and all three seemed to have a different ordering. 😅 Two of the rankings are shown in the print-screens below. The black & green statistics page is probably the most accurate one. At least with the diff in minutes to the fastest perfect scorer the ranking looks about right.

I am very happy to have finished HACKvent as perfect scorer!

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