Today there is practically a year-round CTF circuit, on which teams hone their skills, win prizes and attain stature. For many, the ultimate goal is to dominate in the utmost competition, DEF CON's CTF, and walk away with a coveted black badge. Capture-the-Flag (CTF) is one of DEF CON's oldest contests, dating back to DEF CON 4. Over the past decades, the perennial contest has matured into an annual event requiring months of preparation and nearly continuous dedication both of players and organizers. Organizers strive to make the events unique while taking extreme measures to prevent games from being gamed. Participants often have to cope with novel challenges while simultaneously demonstrating continued excellence in domains like reverse engineering, vulnerability discovery, exploitation, digital forensics, cryptography, and network security. In this session, we will present the evolution of DEF CON CTF, highlighting key points of advancement in the CTF culture - most of which broke new ground and are now present in other contests run around the world. Capitalizing on the multi-year tenure of recent DEF CON CTF organizers, we are able to concisely represent over 20 years of organizers on a single panel. Where else can you ask cross-generational questions about challenges of running CTF? Where else can you inquire about evolutionary design, and get answers from those that actually did it? Where else can you ask about hidden challenges, secrets, and CTF lore...from whom it originated?
The panelists represent over 20 years of DEF CON CTF organizers. Staples in the CTF community are present comprising of decades of experience in participating and organizing CTFs. On stage we have past organizers representing Legit BS, DDTEK, Kenshoto, Ghetto Hackers, and before — many of which also participated as part of top recurring teams such as Sk3wl of r00t, Ghetto Hackers, Samurai, and Team Awesome. Many also played some role (infrastructure, challenge author, announcer) in the Cyber Grand Challenge culminating last summer at DEF CON. They have received and distributed dozens of black badges. Panelists and the roles they represent for this panel: Hawaii John, Legit Business Syndicate; Chris Eagle, DDTEK; Invisigoth, Kenshoto; Caezar, Ghetto Hackers; Myles, Goon.