HACKvent 2020 write-up

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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. :D

https://ranking.competition.hacking-lab.com/

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.

https://hackvent-stats.herokuapp.com/

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‚Ķ 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! ūüėĄ 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. ūüėÖ 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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HackyEaster 2017 write-up

Easter 2017 Рmeans new HackyEaster challenges are online. The challenges were easier than the ones on Hackvent 2016. For HackyEaster all challenges are released at once and it does not matter in what time-frame the challenges are solved, this makes the CTF much less stressful than Hackvent. I solved my last challenge on April 16th at 01:24 AM and completed the CTF after eleven others did before me. Here is a screenshot of the ranking at the time I finished the last challenge.

After the competition ended in total 53 hackers solved all challenges and got the full points.
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HACKvent 2016 write-up

Update 06.01.2017: Added the challenge descriptions. Thanks to khr0x40sh!

HACKvent is a CTF competition provided by Hacking-Lab.com. During advent time every day a new challenge is released. The challenges get harder every day and full points are only given if they get solved within the same day.

I solved all challenges except the last one, but not always the same day though. I had no more time and strength to solve the last one on Christmas. The CTF was a lot of fun but very stressful next to my job.

I ended on rank #23.

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