SICSA Education: Capture The Flag (CTF): What to expect and how to get involved in an event

Date(s) - 01/03/2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The event is running as part of Cyber Scotland Week 2022

Introducing technical concepts to students with little or no technical background can be a challenging task for any teacher to achieve [1]. Capture The Flag (CTF) events can provide cybersecurity students with an opportunity to test the knowledge and skills they have acquired on their course against a series of challenges in a safe environment [2]. Research has shown that CTF style competitions can be a successful way to introduce students to a variety of technical concepts within the standard computer science curriculum and have proven to be a popular means of engaging students with the world of cybersecurity [3].

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that despite the obvious benefits of CTFs many students do not engage in such events due to the fear of the unknown. Specifically, many students feel they lack the necessary skills or knowledge to take part.

The purpose of this workshop is to increase student participation in CTF events by removing the ‘fear factor’ and providing students with a clear understanding of what to expect when attending a CTF for the first time. It is anticipated that the apprehension around such events is likely to be shared by students at HEIs across Scotland. As such, offering the workshop online will allow for wider participation and impact across the student population. In addition, it is anticipated that the workshop will have a twofold benefit to the SICSA community. Firstly, removing this initial barrier should lead to further interest and collaboration around future CTFs offered by member institutes. Secondly, a successful workshop will also raise the profile of SICSA amongst students and should encourage interest in other meetings and workshops offered in the future.

Agenda: TBC


Link to scheduled meeting:



1.McDaniel, L., Talvi, E., Hay, B.: Capture the flag as cyber security introduction. In: 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). pp. 5479–5486 (2016).

  1. Karagiannis, S., Maragkos-Belmpas, E., Magkos, E.: An analysis and evaluation of open source capture the flag platforms as cybersecurity e-learning tools. In: Drevin, L., Von Solms,  S.,  Theocharidou,  M.  (eds.)  Information Security Education.  In- formation Security in Action. pp. 61–77. Springer International Publishing, Cham (2020)
  2. Chothia, T., Novakovic, C.: An offline capture the flag-style virtual machine and an assessment of its value for cybersecurity education. In: 2015 USENIX Summit on Gaming, Games, and Gamification in Security Education (3GSE 15). USENIX Association, Washington, D.C. (Aug 2015),
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