Join Us July 26 – 29th, 2012

All 4 days just $200 USD!

at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas

Cash only at the door.

DEF CON 20 Capture the Flag

The 20th anniversary of DEF CON is almost on us!

To help make this year even more memorable I have been working with DDTEK and other CTF organizers to continue to grow the contest on a number of levels.

Thinking of competing in the pre-qualifiers? Planning to seriously compete this year? This announcement is to get you up to speed on what we have been thinking.

First - Grow the CTF.

This year there will be more teams battling it out. 20 teams for DEF CON 20! This is up from last year's 12. There will be more teams that pre-qual, as well as more teams that get seated automatically by winning other well-known and respected CTF contests around the world.

Here is the breakdown:

10 teams pre-qualify online - The announcement will be April 1st, 2012 at DDTEK
8 winning teams from other CTF events - See below
1 The returning champions from DEF CON 19 CTF - The European Nopsled Team

What other CTF contests you ask?

  1. UCSB iCTF 2011 winner - We_0wn_You -
  2. CodeGate 2012 Winner - LeetChicken -
  3. NCCDC winner - University of Washington team -
  4. Hack In The Box 2012 Amsterdam - May 21-25, 2012 Amsterdam -
  5. Positive Hack Days 2012 - May 30/31, 2012
  6. nuit du hack 2012 - CTF Pre-quals March 24-25, 2012; Nuit du Hack June 23-24, 2012 -
  7. DC19 Open CTF winning team - Team Vand
  8. RuCTFE 2011 winner - 0ldEur0pe - (

You can always compete in multiple CTF events as well as try to qualify on-line. Your journey to DEF CON 20 CTF glory may be long, but there are many paths to get there.

Second - Help out the teams

DEF CON has been running a Capture the Flag contest as an official event since DEF CON 4, but it really started informally at DEF CON 3 (Some say 2).

Teams always battled it out because they wanted to, not because there was any prize money or sponsorships from soda companies or manufacturers.

I want to help that original spirit of competition continue to grow! DEF CON will do something it has never done before. All teams will get two hotel rooms for four nights, Thursday through Sunday, for free. No, the mini bar is not included! This should help remove some of the financial burden off teams, and allow them to focus on the contest. By staying over Sunday you can enjoy some of the after parties Sunday night too!

Good luck with your quest! I hope to see you at DEF CON 20!

The Dark Tangent

Currently Qualified

DC19 CTF Winner - The European Nopsled Team

DC19 Open CTF Winner - Team Vand

UCSB iCTF 2011 Winner - We_0wn_You

CodeGate 2012 Winner - LeetChicken

RuCTFE 2011 Winner - 0ldEur0pe

NCCDC 2012 Winner - University of Washington team


Hates Irony

More Smoked Leet Chicken
our name sucks
ACME Pharm

CTF Resources

Check out the DEF CON CTF Archive page for write-ups and more!


A brief history of the Capture the Flag contest by DDTek's vulc@n.


DDTek: 2009 - Present
Kenshoto: 2005 - 2008
Ghetto Hackers: 2002 - 2004


Caezar's (Ghetto Hackers) presentation from Black Hat Japan on CTF Games: Slides | Audio

CTF Explained - Youtube Video:

Archive of 2006 to 2009 DEF CON CTF and CTF Quals:

Getting the Most Out of Capture the Flag at DEF CON 17: 17 Hacking Conference Presentation By Psifertx - Maximum CTF Getting the most out of Capture the Flag - Video and Slides.m4v