“Hong Kong Cyber Security New Generation Capture the Flag Challenge 2022” Local Cyber Security Young Talents Grow Ever Stronger as More World CTF Players Join the Battle
(Hong Kong, 19 December 2022) The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and its Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) jointly organised the “Hong Kong Cyber Security New Generation Capture the Flag Challenge 2022” (CTF Challenge 2022), aiming to enhance the cyber security awareness of young people in Hong Kong, and groom more information security talents. Held since 2020 and now in its third edition, the competition is going global, with teams of Capture the Flag (CTF) players from various parts of the world including the Mainland of China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Republic of Korea, the United States, etc., joining as guest players. The level of competition has been raised to a new height.
CTF Challenge 2022 has been warmly supported by the local and international academic circles and society, with about 1,200 players from local secondary schools, tertiary institutions and IT elites forming 434 teams to compete. The number of participants in each group has gone up, with Open category recording the largest rise of 40% compared to last year. An increase of 26% and 12% for the Secondary Schools category and Tertiary Institutions category has also been recorded respectively. The competition was conducted in jeopardy-style during 11 to 13 November, with participating teams applying creative thinking to solve 47 questions within 48 hours to gain points through trial and error, enabling them to acquire cyber security knowledge and skills such as cryptography, programming concept and forensics.
To raise participants’ interest and engagement, the questions of this year’s CTF Challenge are titled with places in Hong Kong such as using Centre Street, which is the steepest street in Hong Kong, as a metaphor for security vulnerabilities that are likely to occur in web servers; or Charming Garden, a Home Ownership Scheme estate in Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, to describe a problematic website written in C++ computer programming language and Charm library. This year, there are also “hand-in-hand” teaching questions, in which clear step-by-step instructions will be provided to guide the players in solving problems, aiming to let less-experienced players understand the principles and skills behind the questions and engage in the competition.
Each competing category features gold, silver and bronze awards. There is also a “Most Supportive School Award” for the Secondary School category to recognise the school with the most participating teams [Note 1]. This year, a new “Best School Award” is introduced to recognise the school with the best performance [Note 2]. Teams from Shung Tak Catholic English College, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and T0003 (2022) @ TWY's Temple won the gold awards in the Secondary School, Tertiary Institution and Open categories respectively, while Carmel Secondary School and Kowloon True Light School were winners of the “Best School Award” and “Most Supportive School Award” respectively. (See appendix for the full list)
In addition, this year's competition continues to receive positive feedback from participants. The competition’s future weight on CTFTime, a world-renowned CTF competition rating platform, has been on the rise for two consecutive years, jumping from 25 points in the first year to 55 points this year. This further enhances its standing in the international CTF competition circle, and boosts the confidence for staging more CTF competitions in future.
CTF Challenge 2022 was concluded with the awards presentation ceremony at HKPC today. Mr Alex CHAN, General Manager, Digital Transformation Division of HKPC, was joined by Mr Simon SIU, Chief Systems Manager (Cyber Security), Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, and Mr Wilson YUEN, Curriculum Development Officer (IT in Education) of Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government, to present the awards.
Mr Alex CHAN, General Manager of the Digital Transformation Division of HKPC, said: “The most critical part of cyber security is neither firewall nor anti-malware software, but people. On one hand, we need to educate users to guard against the increasingly rampant phishing, and on the other hand, we need talents to join the cyber security profession. Talents must be recruited as well as nurtured. As cyber security emphasises on practical experience, practitioners should not only rely on academic theories, but also understand various cyber attacks and defence methods.”
He continued: “HKPC has been nurturing cyber security talents through various channels. The CTF Challenge is one such way to equip those aspiring young talents to join the industry. This year is the third consecutive year that HKPC has organised this competition with HKCERT. It aims to raise young people’s awareness on cyber security issues, as well as learn and delve into relevant knowledge, such as cryptography, programming concepts, cyber forensics and other skills, so as to meet new challenges in cyber security. After 3 years, I am delighted to observe the continuous improvement in the standard of local CTF players. For example, the champion of the Open category is on par with the international guest players. In view of this, we will actively consider bringing this competition to the international level, so that more top-notch teams will join to compete with Hong Kong CTF elites.”
On the same day, a webinar was also held in which cyber security experts shared their insights on formulating vulnerability management plans and cyber security risk management, and discussed how the new generation can join the cyber security profession. To revisit today's event and learn more about the competition, please visit the website: https://ctf.hkcert.org/index.html
To nurture cyber security professionals, apart from co-organising the CTF Challenge with HKCERT, HKPC also organises related professional training courses, such as (ISC)² Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), EC-Council Ethical Hacker certification (C|EH) and other internationally recognised certificate courses to enhance students’ cyber security knowledge; and provide technical cyber security training to strengthen the students’ “practical” operating experience so that they can be more comprehensive in responding to and defending against new cyber threats. In addition, HKPC and HKCERT provide job and internship opportunities for those interested in joining the cyber security industry to showcase their strengths and gain experience.
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[Note 1] Participated Team means Teams with score greater than or equal to 20.
[Note 2] The Organisers will aggregate the score of the top 30 teams on the scorecard by school. The school with the highest score will receive the “Best School Award”.
“Hong Kong Cyber Security New Generation Capture the Flag Challenge 2022” Award List
School / Team name
Secondary School Category
Shung Tak Catholic English College
Jiang Kit-Hoi, Huang Yam, Raymond Liu, Jerry Yang
|SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary
|Mok Chun-Hei, Chan Ka-Wing, Fung Tsun-Nok,
|Sing Yin Secondary School
|Chan Yin-Ming, Cheung Yik-Fung, Shen Lik-Hang,
|Carmel Secondary School
Most Supportive School Award
|Kowloon True Light School
Tertiary Institution Category
|The Hong Kong Polytechnic
|Sham Wing-Chung, Leung Hon-Lam, Ho Ka-Yui,
|The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology
|Ho Chun-Kit, Kenneth Yong Hau-Woon, Fu Hin-Nam,
|The Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology
|Johnathan Law Jun-Jie, Liu Kit-Chi, Tsoi Ka-Wong,
Ian Lau Hoi-Lok
|T0003 (2022) @ TWY's Temple
|Chung Tsz-Wa, Tang Wing-Yin, Chan Sheung-Chi,
Viky Choi Hoi-Sing
|Tam Lai-Yin, Gareth Ma Ho-Kiu, Lee Yat-Lap,
|Kong Chun-Ho, Chen Hui, Fung Tsz-Wa
1. Mr Simon SIU, Chief Systems Manager (Cyber Security), Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (fourth from left); Mr Wilson YUEN, Curriculum Development Officer (IT in Education) of Education Bureau (fourth from right); and Mr Alex CHAN, General Manager, Digital Transformation Division of HKPC (third from left), pose for a photo with representatives of the organisers and coorganisers of the “Hong Kong Cyber Security New Generation Capture the Flag Challenge 2022”at the award presentation ceremony
2. Award presenters, representatives of the organisers, co-organisers and winners of the “Hong Kong Cyber
Security New Generation Capture the Flag Challenge 2022” pose for a group photo