Behind the scenes of Nixu Challenge 2019 – the best tips from the creator

January 24, 2019 at 14:48

The Nixu Challenge has once again kicked off with 19 tricky tasks to beat. Besides having fun with it, completing tasks is a good way of showing us your skills and getting employed to our growing team of cybersecurity experts. One of the people we have hired via Nixu Challenge is our Security Specialist Jani, one of the creators of this year’s tasks. Read his best tips for conquering the scoreboard below.

Hi Jani! So you work as a Security Specialist here at Nixu. How did that happen?
I’ve always been interested in cybersecurity and Nixu Challenge seemed like a perfect chance to test and develop my skills. In my first round, in 2016, I wasn’t quite there yet. I was encouraged to try again next year and that’s when I decided to put time and effort in developing my skills. I attended lectures and practiced with other CTFs. In the next round I managed to nail a summer job here at Nixu and here I am still. I think the best way to apply for a job is by showing your skills via a concrete task. The Nixu Challenge is a perfect way of testing your competence because there’s no way to sugar coat your own making.

This year, you are one of the creators of Nixu Challenge. What can be expected from the tasks? 
For one thing, the challenge is versatile. There’s something for every level of know-how: the tasks with the lowest number of points are the easier ones to get started with. Accordingly, the ones with the biggest scores call for pro level expertise. Basically, the skills needed in solving the tasks are the same you need when working for Nixu – problem-solving skills, healthy curiosity and eagerness to learn are necessities. On the more technical side, the tasks require knowledge of, for example, forensic tools or skills like writing scripts, for example. You might even need to create your own tools.

Job applicants need to submit a writeup. Any tips on that?
Be clear and concise. It’s not just about solving the tasks but communicating the solution. Try to avoid too much tech-jargon and write the report using everyday language – just like you would when consulting a client.

What’s the best part of working for Nixu?
Simply put: I like it. The assignments are versatile and challenging, and I have a say in what kind of projects I work with. We have good tools to work with and an easy-going atmosphere with real team spirit. Nixuans are eager to teach each other new tricks and skills.

Any last words?
The most important thing is to do your best – there is no need to solve every task. Just try your best and you’ll learn a lot, I promise. Be bold, be you. Grab flags, kick ass and show us what you got! 


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