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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS + Competition Rules

When does the Qualification Round for CTF start and end?

CSAW’17 CTF will run September 15 — 17, 2017. 

Start Time: 20:00 UTC Time, September 15 
End Time: 20:00 UTC Time, September 17

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE CSAW’17 CAPTURE THE FLAG Qualification Round?

Everyone is welcome to play in the 48-hour Qualification Round of Capture the Flag. Our game is open to players from around the world.

  • Players can compete individually or in teams
  • There is no limit to the number of players on a team
  • Registration is required though the CTF platform: ctf.csaw.io
  • Only one member of a team needs to register

Teams/players may play as much or as little as they want through the Qualification Round. We recommend dedicating as much time as you have to working through the Challenges.

Who can participate in the CSAW’17 CTF Final competition?

Finals will be held November 9 — 11, 2017 *.

Eligibility rules for Finals vary by region, defined below. 

Participation in CSAW Finals is contingent upon competitors' ability to enter the given country where CSAW is being hosted.

Europe - hosted by Grenoble INP - Esisar (Valence, France)
  • Teams may have up to 4 players total during Finals, all of whom must be confirmed by September 29.
  • All team members must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program and attend the same university within the European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, or Armenia.
  • Only one team from any given university may qualify for Finals. If multiple teams from the same university qualify, only the highest ranked team will be invited to compete at CSAW Europe Finals.
  • Teams that qualify for Finals will be asked to verify their enrollment status before being offered a Travel Award.
India - hosted by Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (Kanpur, India)
  • Teams may have up to 4 players total during Finals, all of whom must be confirmed by September 29.
  • Teams can either be comprised of students or non-students. For Student Teams, members must be enrolled in an undergraduate (UG) or post-graduate (PG) program within India. Non-Student Teams must be comprised of residents of India.
  • Up to two (2) Student Teams from any given university in India may qualify for Finals. If multiple teams from the same university qualify, only the two highest ranked teams will be invited to compete at CSAW India Finals.
  • Student Teams that qualify for Finals will be asked to verify their enrollment status before being offered a Travel Award.
Israel - hosted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the IBM Cyber Security Center of Excellence (Be'er Sheva, Israel) 
  • All details concerning the CSAW Israel CTF Qualification Round (September 5 — 6, 2017) and the Final competition (November 16 — 17, 2017) are posted here.
Middle East North Africa - hosted by NYU Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, UAE) 
  • Teams may have up to 4 players total during Finals, all of whom must be confirmed within 24 hours of receiving initial notification from NYUAD (approximately September 20).
  • All team members must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the Middle East North Africa or Asia**.
  • Only one team from any given university may qualify for Finals. If multiple teams from the same university qualify, only the highest ranked team will be invited to compete at CSAW Europe Finals.
  • Teams that qualify for Finals will be asked to verify their enrollment status before being offered a Travel Award.

**A select number of teams across various educational programs in Asia may qualify to play in CTF Finals at CSAW MENA.

North America - hosted by NYU Tandon School of Engineering (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
  • Only undergraduate level students enrolled in an accredited university or college in the United States, Canada, or Mexico are eligible to qualify for Finals.
  • Teams may have up to 4 players total during Finals, all of whom must be confirmed by September 29.
  • A maximum of 5 students from the same university are eligible to qualify for Finals.
  • Mixed teams -- or teams with students from different universities/colleges -- are permitted. A mixed team can have a maximum of 2 students from the same university/college, with up to 4 teammates total. For example:
    • 2 students from University A can team up with 2 students from University B.
    • Or, 2 students from University A can team up with 1 student from University B and 1 student from University C.
    • Or, a mixed team could comprise 4 students all from different universities/colleges
    • Questions about mixed teams? Please email csaw@nyu.edu
  • Teams that qualify for Finals will be asked to verify their enrollment status before being offered a Travel Award.

HOW DO I REGISTER TO PLAY?

Registration is now open. Register here: ctf.csaw.io

ARE THERE RESOURCES TO HELP ME PREPARE?

We encourage you to practice playing online CTF games. You'll find some introductory resources here and a calendar of CTF games via CTF Time.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED TO COMPETE IN THE Qualification ROUND?

The qualification round of CTF is played on an online platform: ctf.csaw.io. Your team will need regular access to a computer and an Internet connection. We recommend that you have unfiltered Internet access, as well as the ability to install software.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER?

Registration will close when the Qualification Round ends on September 17, 2017.

ARE THERE ANY RULES FOR PLAY?

Yes. We strive for fair and honest play and, in general, we want everyone to have fun. Please mind the following:

  • Teams should work independently; sharing answers or collaborating with another team to secure multiple spots at finals constitutes cheating
  • Attacking the CTF infrastructure ruins the fun for everyone. Unless a challenge calls for such an attack, please refrain from attacking CTF. It won’t be tolerated.
  • Guessing keys is not allowed
  • Use of automated vulnerability scanners, such as SQLMap, will not help and are not allowed

WHEN IS THE FINAL COMPETITION?

November 9 — 11, 2017 *

How does a team qualify for Finals?

Eligible teams with the most points per international region will be invited to Finals. We anticipate the following number of invitations:

  • Europe: 10 teams, with up to 4 students per team, will be invited to Finals
  • India: 10 teams (a mix of Student Teams and Non-Student Teams) will be invited to Finals
  • Middle East North Africa: 10 teams, with up to 4 students per team, will be invited to Finals
  • North America: 10 — 12 teams (to be determined by August 31, 2017), with up to 4 students per team, will be invited to Finals
  • Israel: Please refer to the CSAW Israel FAQ + Rules

AT WHICH INTERNATIONAL CSAW LOCATION WILL FINALISTS COMPETE?

The location where finalists compete is based on the finalists’ university affiliation as follows:

  • CSAW Europe: Finalists from universities in Europe will compete at Grenoble INP - Esisar (Valence, France)
  • CSAW India: Finalists from India will compete at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (Kanpur, India)
  • CSAW Israel: Finalists from Israel will compete at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Be'er Sheva, Israel) 
  • CSAW MENA: Finalists from universities in the MENA Region and Asia will compete at NYU Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, UAE)**
  • CSAW North America: Finalists from universities in North America will compete at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

WHEN WILL FINALISTS BE NOTIFIED THAT THEY'RE ELIGIBLE TO COMPETE AT CSAW?

Finalists will be notified via email no later than October 6, 2017, with most notifications being sent between September 19 and September 29. Teams will receive notification via the email that is registered on ctf.csaw.io.

WHAT PRIZES ARE AWARDED TO THE TOP TEAMS AT FINALS?

Winners are identified for each region with prizes varying by region. Please check the CTF page for details on prizes according to your location.

WHAT COSTS ARE COVERED FOR FINALISTS DURING CSAW?

Typically, transportation and room (hotel or residence hall) are covered, and meals are provided. Students will be informed of all specific costs covered when they are invited to Finals.

WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS?

Please direct your inquiries as follows:

CSAW Europe >  csaw-europe-ctf@esisar.grenoble-inp.fr
CSAW India >  skmtr@cse.iitk.ac.in
CSAW Israel > csaw.info@il.ibm.com
CSAW MENA >  nyuad.ccsad@nyu.edu
CSAW North America >  csawctf@osiris.cyber.nyu.edu

*Dates of CSAW Finals may differ slightly for each international host based on timezones.

Register

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Capture the Flag.