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Hack The Box Cyber Apocalypse 2023

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In March 2023, I participated in the Cyber Apocalypse 2023 CTF (Capture the Flag) competition hosted by Hack The Box. The event took place between March 18, 2023 1pm UTC and March 23, 2023 1pm UTC and was open to anyone to participate for free. There were 74 challenges in total, ranging from ‘very easy’ to ‘insane’ difficulty ratings, spread across a broad range of topics:

As can be expected, the percentage of solves per difficulty was weighted more heavily towards the ‘very easy’ and ‘easy’ difficulty ratings:

Percentage of solves per difficulty bar chart

A total of 6482 teams and 12542 players participated:

6482 teams and 12542 players participated

Whilst team sizes of up to 20 were permitted, solo teams were also encouraged. Although a solo team is very unlikely to be able to complete all challenges and to finish in the top 3, participating in a solo team can also provide the most impactful learning experience. As this was my first time participating and I was mainly interested in learning and testing myself, I chose to participate in a solo team, which I named ‘out in time’.

The challenges were interesting, a lot of fun and, naturally, a bit frustrating at times but most importantly, they were great learning experiences. I think it’s absolutely fantastic that events like this are hosted and the quality of the challenges was high, as is typical from Hack The Box.

In the end, I managed to complete 30 out of 74 challenges, placing a rank of 447, shown in the image below. In the three day ‘after-party’, where the challenges were still available but without contributing to each player’s score, I managed to complete an additional two challenges.

I’ll endeavor to present walkthroughs for some of the challenges in future posts.

I completed 30 out of 74 challenges and ranked 447 out of 6482 teams