If you’re just starting to learn about the cool stuff of hackers, you’ve probably heard of CTF. CTF stands for Capture The Flag. In cybersecurity, CTF is a fun way to practice hacking skills. So where can you learn about CTF? What happens in CTF?
At Hack The Box, you can practice and learn through games/games. Because games are fun and help you think creatively, this is one of the most effective ways to learn and develop skills.
You probably still remember when you were in school, you had to listen to boring lectures in class and cram boring textbooks into your head to take exams. Then almost completely forget what you learned when you finish the test. That’s because in the long run, long-term memory won’t work anymore. If you’re not naturally curious about something, your brain won’t retain that information. If your role in the learning process is 100% passive – listening, reading, but never actually doing – you won’t be able to maintain and learn new skills.
Learning should be enjoyable and a positive experience. Neuroscience has confirmed this method of teaching and learning. And I believe that one of the most fun and effective ways to develop your hacking skills is to participate in Capture The Flag contests. So what is CTF?
Classic inspiration of CTF
Capture The Flag is like the chess game you played as a kid. There will be 2 teams, 1 team takes the flag in the middle of the field and 1 team defends to stop the other team from stealing the flag. The attacking team will have to take the flag in the middle of the field and avoid being caught by the other team and then run back to their own side of the field.
Cybersecurity CTF games inspired by real-life Capture The Flag games. This is like a puzzle game. Give the player puzzles or hints as to where the next clue is hidden. When they find that clue, it leads to other clues.
The escape room has become the most visited place in the past few years. Instead of looking for clues, you’ll be given clues as to where the next tool or trick is to get out of that room.
Change with the times
CTF competitions for cybersecurity enthusiasts and aspiring hackers often have a similar mechanism.
In a CTF game, you and some other hacker will be given a piece of software, a web application, a virtual machine or a virtualized network as your target. Your goal is to find all the hidden flags before your opponent finds them.
A “flag” can take many different forms, but is most commonly a string of code hidden in a document or application file.
Some CTF games are similar to the one above. You can find a flag and it will contain a hint to help you find the next flag.
Why should you play CTF?
The techniques you will use in a CTF are the same techniques you would use as a hacker. The skills you learn in Capture The Flag competitions can be used for local application and web application penetration testing, software decompile, and bug-hunting programs. All of the above jobs pay well and they lay a solid foundation for your cybersecurity career.
CTF Tips for Professional Hackers
Here are some tips for getting into the exciting world of CTF.
1. Don’t worry if you don’t think you know much about hacking. Don’t worry if you think you’ll play poorly in CTF. Try CTF, even if you don’t feel confident. You have absolutely nothing to lose. The more CTFs you join, the more your skills will improve. People rarely win the first time they play CTF. Just keep trying, even if you lose, you will have fun and learn something. Everyone who participates in CTF is a winner.
2. You may need to brainstorm if you have trouble finding the flag. Try searching the web or run some of your hacking tools and try different ways. The Parrot operating system has a lot of nifty tools that you can try.
3. The techniques and tools you will need to use to find the flag will vary from case to case. Some tools you may need to use include finding web source code through your web browser, opening the file in a text editor, inspecting the file in a hex editor, or running a command in a shell such as BASH . And there are other ways to find flags.
4. Join multiple CTFs until you master them. Once you start winning Capture The Flag competitions, you can find work in a variety of industries. You can certainly include a list of Capture The Flag events that you have participated in on your resume or CV.
In addition, you can also see the roadmap to becoming a Website Penetration Tester here. You can also find more CTF games at HackThisBox and TryHackme.