CTF Contests: Hands-On Experience of the IT Security Culture - 2023S

In the summer term 2023 we will organise the UE CTF Contests: Hands-On Experience of the IT Security Culture for all students. Non-TU and external persons are explicitly invited to participate too.

In this exercise we will look into CTF competitions commonly found in the IT security community. Together, we will train for and compete in the best and most exciting international contests. Contributions from all skill levels and different backgrounds are welcome, expect your participation to be a learning experience for each and everyone.

After completion of this course you will have gained important insights of how CTFs are structured, how participating teams are organised, as well as which measures and tools will help you, and your team, to be successfull. In the course of the exercise we will take part in multiple international competitions as a team. We will specifically prepare for these participations. Structured retrospectives help to get the best pedagogical value from the competitions, and transfer the learning experience to the next competition. Diverse previous knowledge is explicitly desired. A focus of this course is also to learn how a team can cooperate effectively with different individual strengths in a competitive setting.

This website is updated continuously.

If you are interested in participating, please join the preliminary discussion.


Only the dates which are presented subsequently are authoritative. Please note that these can change in exceptional cases.

The planned dates for the exercise appointments and training sessions are:

Unless otherwise announced, appointments will take place at 16:00 in (external link)INSO Library


The exercise is based on the participation in CTF contests. Participation in following CTFs is planned:

The competitions listed above are public events. We do not have any influence on the organisation of these events, and organizers sometimes cancel or postpone events. If necessary, the selection of CTFs we will participate in might change during the course in accordance with the contraints of the course participants as determined during our joint exercise sessions.

Please note that the course's character, as is mandatory for courses in the UE category at TU Vienna, is 'pruefungsimmanent'. In practice, that means your active participation in the team, including active collaboration with the other participants is a pre-requisit for getting a certificate. This includes (visible) active participation in the competitions, as well as during the exercise appointments and training sessions.

As a tool to evaluate your performance in this course, we use writeups and presentations that allow you to score points. Additionally, a hands-on challenge that the team will be using to exercise and train has to be created.

You can reach a maximum of 100 points. In rare cases, if we have been unable to adequately notice your active participation, we might ask you to make your invididual involvement transparent to us in form of a written protocol. In order to sucessfully compete in most CTFs as a team of a certain size, extensive usage of collaboration tools to communicate the selection of tasks you are working on, your ideas, analysis results, approaches, progress, and solutions is usually indicated. We will keep the logs of these tools, obviating the need for such a written protocol for most cases except extreme solo combatants.

In case you have any questions regarding the exercise which are relevant for other students, please use the tuwel forum which will be available at the beginning of the term.

For any other questions please use the available contact options.


S1 <= 100
U2 < 88
B3 < 75
G4 < 63
N5 < 51

Note: Sometimes, your grade is not displayed correctly in tuwel. Therefore, please always compare your grading with our grading table above.


For specific questions please write us an e-mail or visit us during our office hours.

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