Hack The Box (@hackthebox_eu) is celebrating the success of its first Business Capture The Flag (CTF) event, as over 1,600 IT and security professionals representing 374 corporate teams competed in the cybersecurity challenge for the CTF crown between the 23-25th July. 

As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve for businesses all over the world, proactive and preventative training is seen as vital for combatting rapidly increasing attacks on digital infrastructure. The Business Capture The Flag 2021 event from Hack The Box challenged corporate security teams to find hidden flags in computer networks or applications in a fun and interactive way – promoting a mindset of ‘thinking like a hacker’ to solve the tasks.

The 374 corporate teams, from 66 countries, included some of the largest consumer, financial and technology companies in the world. Teams spent 54 hours over the weekend tackling the 34 different challenges, which focused on 10 key areas including cloud, cryptocurrency and reverse-engineering. Xormatic, an IT security consultancy from Denmark, finished in first place to claim their share of the prizes worth over £20,000. 

Aris Zikopoulos, Co-Founder and CCO of Hack The Box, comments:

“The success of this inaugural business Capture The Flag validates our belief that cyber skills training is best and most effective when it is delivered in fun, interactive and competitive ways. This captivating event gave IT and security professionals an intense and thrilling way to test and hone their cybersecurity prowess in a safe but realistic environment.”

“We’d like to congratulate the winning team, from IT consultancy group Xormatic, and give a special mention to the other groups that finished in the top five positions from Synacktiv, StandardChartered, INGBank, and Orange Cyberdefense.”

“All participating teams have benefitted from improving their proactive and preventative security abilities. We believe these types of skills, alongside an adversarial mindset, is what modern organisations need to tackle the ever-increasing threats and make corporate networks more secure.”

In total, all 44 flags were located by the competing teams, and over 1,400 certificates have been granted to players. Prizes included Hack The Box training credits, trophies, and industry gifts. 

Founder of Xormatic, and the company’s team captain for the Business Capture The Flag, Harald Andreasen, comments:

“The variety of the challenges made this a great CTF event, and our team had lots of fun while developing our skills. We’d encourage any cyber team to enter this CTF event, as it’s a great way to test your knowledge and improve as a security professional. Certain tasks meant we had to work together as a team to conquer the challenge, and in other scenarios we relied on individual expertise within the team. This is exactly what’s needed in real-world scenarios. We’ll be back to try and regain our title in 2022!”

To date, Hack The Box has hosted more than 100 Capture The Flag events, for over 9,500 teams, demonstrating its focus and commitment on security training and events. 

Tomasz Bukowski, Standard Chartered’s Senior Red Team Operations Expert and team captain for the event comments:

“This was a very well organised CTF event. I would definitely recommend it to peers and other companies, and we will be looking to join next year as well. The biggest highlight of our experience during the hacking competition was the ability to learn new tech by exploitation.”

“Our corporate sponsors, Synack, NTT, Datadog, HackerOne and Hak5, were crucial to the event’s success. The Hack The Box team is already looking forward to the 2022 event,” comments Aris Zikopoulos, Hack The Box. 

Lukasz Lamparski, Security Manager Senior Incident Responder at ING Bank and team captain for the Business Capture The Flag, comments:

“I really liked the Hack The Box Business CTF 2021. Overall the challenges were pretty realistic, which is a big plus for me. The event lets you test your skills in realistic scenarios, and challenge yourself against the best specialists in the field. The best moment was solving the Ghost challenge which was quite challenging. We will join again next year.”

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