Would you like to practice hacking? Take the CTF challenge!

Anne Oikarinen

January 30, 2020 at 08:55

Are your schoolkids interested in hacking? Or would you like to perfect your own data security skills? Capture the Flag competitions and targets that have been made intentionally vulnerable allow you to learn ethical hacking safely. 

Responsibility does not always develop in step with skills

Capture the Flag competitions are communal and allow you to develop your data security skills
Capture the Flag competitions are communal and allow you to develop your data security skills

We regularly hear about young people wanting to try out their skills in the cyber world. IT skills do not necessarily develop in step with understanding. The internet is full of hacking instructions, and the temptation to try out your skills may be great. Young IT enthusiasts encounter many ethical questions as their skills develop. In addition, they may not fully understand the consequences. For this reason, it is important that schools provide information on legal ways to learn hacking so that other people are not harmed. A good example of this is the Hack with Espoo course that the city of Espoo in Finland has organized for young people.

Test your skills in Capture the Flag competitions

The various Capture the Flag competitions are about tackling challenges related to cyber security. In addition, Nixu organizes an annual Nixu Challenge, an online challenge through which new talents are recruited. This means that you can even hack yourself a summer job, provided that the target is appropriate.

In addition, many Nixuans are eager to develop their skills and have been participating in Capture the Flag competitions regularly for many years. Last year, Nixu’s white hat hackers participated, for example, in the Cyberlympics competition in Canada, the Midnight Sun CTF in Sweden and the CTF at the Disobey hacker conference.

If there are no suitable events close to you in the near future, try one of these online challenges:

  1. Hack The Box. A favorite of many Nixu employees. There are challenges for everyone from beginners to professionals. The first challenge is to log in. Can you do it?
  2. Hacker101 CTFA CTF provided by the HackerOne bug bounty platform, with focus on web application security. There are tasks for beginners as well, and the site has many instructional videos.
  3. Root Me. A broad range of challenges for private persons, schools and companies.
  4. VulnHubA collection of intentionally vulnerable Linux virtual machines. Can you get root?

Practice with servers that are vulnerable on purpose

It is forbidden to try to hack into computer systems without permission. However, there are several servers that have been made vulnerable on purpose, and you can practice your hacking skills with them lawfully, for example, on your own virtual machine at home. Examples of such systems include OWASP Juice Shop and Damn Vulnerable Web Application, which junior hackers used for practicing at the Hack Day event organized by a Finnish insurance company LähiTapiola last autumn.

There are ethically sustainable options available for you to develop and test your IT skills independently. Today is a good day to begin!


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