CPTC 2020 - Regional Review

What a crazy month+ it has been! We just finished all of the regional events for the 2020 CPTC season and it has been intense. CPTC, or The Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition, is an annual hacking tournament where we host a realistic company network for university teams to pentest. Our volunteers have been working tirelessly on this specific event for over two years, even more so in the last month of regional events. I can't reveal too much about the competition because we still have the final event on 1/7/2021, but the rest of this information is generally well known by the competitors at this point and includes some operational notes about the event. Our environment this year was NGPEW, or Next Generation Power, Electric, and Water. Our goal was to provide a realistic, yet terribly vulnerable, power utility for students to penetration test. Our environment was mostly hosted in AWS, deployed using our custom laforge tool, and included two networks with over 40 hosts per environment. The environment includes everything from Active Directory domains to industrial control protocols. We had more than 67 universities participate this year, a record high for involvement. Overall we hosted eight different regional events over the course of six weeks. This means we held multiple regional events on the same weekend at times. We also greatly expanded our international presence this year with a Canadian region and an European region to compliment our Middle Eastern region.  Some of the returning schools in our regions performed exceptionally well. Our winners from each region were as follows:

New England Regional winners:
1st Place - Rochester Institute of Technology
2nd Place - Pennsylvania State University
3rd Place - University of New Haven

Northeastern Regional winners:
1st Place - Carnegie Mellon University
2nd Place - Dakota State University
3rd Place - University at Buffalo

Southeastern Regional Winners:
1st Place: University of Central Florida
2nd Place: University of West Florida
3rd Place: University of Florida

Central Regional Winners:
1st Place - Drexel University
2nd Place - Southern Methodist University
3rd Place - Tennessee Tech University

Western Regional winners:
1st Place - City College of San Francisco
2nd Place - California Polytechnic University, Pomona
3rd Place - Stanford University

Canada Regional winners:

1st Place - University of Ottawa
2nd Place - Ontario Tech University
3rd Place - Mohawk College

Europe Regional winners:
1st Place - Bournemouth University
2nd Place - Chalmers University of Technology
3rd Place - Masaryk University

Middle Eastern Regional winners:
1st Place - RIT Dubai
2nd Place - Princess Sumaya University
3rd Place - University of Jordan

The 1st place teams in each region will move on to the final CPTC event for the 2020 season, which will be held January 7th, 2021, and very likely as a virtual event. The next seven highest scoring teams overall will come to the final event as our wildcard competitors. This could be multiple teams from the same region if they performed overall better than the rest of the schools. It is highly likely they will come from the teams above but we will have to wait to see the final announcement. We had a ton of amazing teams compete this year, you can really see some big names in the winners above. This also means the teams progressing to the final event this year are:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Central Florida 
  • Drexel University
  • City College of San Francisco
  • University of Ottawa
  • Bournemouth University
  • RIT Dubai
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We haven't announced those wildcard winners yet so keep your eyes on the twitter account for that information. We have a high energy final tournament quickly approaching, with only one school becoming our global champion for the 2020 virtual season. This year we hope to have more interactive or even public displays for the final event, as we usually have a large in-person monitoring room setup. I've included a video we made at last year's North East Regional CPTC event. It gives a really good sense of what the competition entails. Hopefully we will all be meeting up to have these competitions in person again soon. Enjoy!

Source: lockboxx

CPTC 2020 - Regional Review