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Universities across the globe offer top-notch cybersecurity programs to meet the growing demand for information security professionals. But academia can only go so far, and everyone, from students to professors, need opportunities to hone their offensive skills in practical real-world scenarios.

Tripwire’s Vulnerability and Exposure Research Team (VERT) recently hosted our very first cybersecurity competition that provided an opportunity test their offensive skills and in a safe environment. We had more than 130 participants from all over the world, and the competition was a complete success!

We are thrilled to announce the following winners:

In first place: Mykola Ilin, (@MykolaIlin)

In second place: Ilias Giechaskiel

Runners-up: Kyle Phillipeck, (@kernelsndrs); Charley Celice, (@charleycelice)


We’d like to thank all of our participants—you were all very impressive, and it was great to hear from so many people that the CTF was a helpful learning exercise. The Tripwire VERT CTF was not intended to be an easy win; in fact, only 26 people were able to advance beyond the first round. Of those, only two managed to find all the flags.

This CTF was designed to make you think, and encourage the use of custom tools and techniques rather than point-and-shoot hacking tools. A complete write-up of the CTF will be posted soon explaining how each of the flags could be recovered.

The CTF page is also now available for general access at We’d also like to extend an extra special thanks to our sponsors: The Independent Security Evaluators and BSides Las Vegas.

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