The 2002 iCTF

The 2002 security exercise was not properly a CTF.

It was an exercise in a graduate security class taught at UC Santa Barbara in 2002. The class was divided into two teams, Alpha and Omega, competing against each other in a treasure hunt. The treasure hunt goal was to break into a simulated (yet realistic) payroll system and perform a money transfer transaction. Each team had to perform a number of tasks (e.g., scan a network or break into a host). Each task had to be completed in a limited amount of time (e.g., 30 minutes). The first team that achieved the task got the most points. If the other team completed the task within the specified time, it received a fraction of the points. If the time elapsed and the team was not able to complete the task, then a cheat-sheet was provided so that the task could be completed, but no points were given. A task was disclosed only after the previous one was completed by both teams.

The rationale behind this exercise was to create a dataset (host-based events, network events, etc.) that could be use in research on multi-step attack correlation.