Hack Eire is Ireland’s only capture the flag competition for hackers. Held every year at the IRISSCon event in Dublin it is free to attend and open to all. The conference itself is brainchild of Ireland’s one and only Brian Honan.
I have to thank Mark Hillick and the Hack Eire team for putting together a superb CTF competition. Some really good real(ish) world hacking challenges. I can certainly say that the amount of time the guys spent on putting this together really shows.
There were some last minute changes to team membership etc and I ended teaming up with some friends. Our team name…… 5CHF (5 Swiss Francs). There is a long story to this but suffice to say some things happened when attending another conference in Switzerland called Hash Days.
The Hack Eire team put in some nice red herrings and in combination with some faulty systems, power problems and slight cheating by one team (you know who you are) we spent 7 hours wading through the challenges. If I can give any advice to anyone thinking of competing at any of these events DO NOT attempt them if you have been out drinking till 4am the night before. 4 hours sleep does not induce the optimal thinking condition of the human mind. Also, come up with a plan. Assign roles to team members, who does the recon? etc. Ensure you have a good mix of skills in your team like reversing, web app testing and coding.
So our motley band of 4 players set about the challenges. The organisers had created a list of questions which if answered correctly proved that you had completed a challenge. The challenges themselves were split into the following:
Packet analysis with stego
Various hacker related questions
Really challenging packet analysis
Web app pen test
3 x network/server pen tests
Overall, we placed 2nd only 1% behind the winning team. Congratulations to the winning team, who by the way have won for the 2nd year in a row. I look forward to see you all next year at the competition.