So like many, I have been looking for ways to get hands-on training in cyber security, but without a job that’s almost “impossible,” there are options out there for everyone at every level! so let’s talk about CTFs and what CTFs are and how you can get started in them!.
What are CTFs games?.
If you like solving puzzles and difficult tasks, CTF games are for you! Now let’s answer the million-dollar question of what CTFs are???
So a CTF or (capture the flag) game it’s basically a competition in InfoSec where you are challenged to solve different types of tasks which could range from doing a scavenging hunt throughout a Wikipedia page, doing some basic programming to hacking your way into a server to obtain the flag hence the name capture the flag, CTFs competitions are a great way to learn how to exploit a system once you have gain access to the flag you will have a sense of confidence that you can actually do it!.
Why are CTF games important for beginners?.
Capture the flag games will help you build the critical thinking you need to be in the cybersecurity field. You will quickly learn your passion for cybersecurity. You will show employers that you have the right skills you are looking for. If you play with a team, you will learn how to be a team player, and you are allowed to fail so you can succeed! It’s a game, so failing is always an option. You will learn how threat actors use their tools and knowledge to break into different computer systems. Many CTFs dont need you to have programming experience; some are just about problem-solving, so there is a CTF for everyone regarding the experience you have.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the NAHAMCON event, which was my first CTF event. I did it alone, not with a team, since being my first event, impostor syndrome took over me, and I thought, “I don’t want people to make fun of me for not knowing anything” well, I soon found out it’s not about you knowing everything CTFs are all about having fun and willing to learn and share what you have learned.
So, where do you start?.
Hopefully, I have piqued your interest in learning more about how to get your hands dirty to get you ready for a job in cybersecurity. Of course, CTFs are not the only thing you need to find a job in cybersecurity. You will need patience and the need to grow more and more, Cybersecurity is a vast field, and it keeps growing every day. New threats are emerging, new ZERO DAYS are popping up, and the need to learn a new thing every day is growing.
- CTFtime will detail all different types of CTF games; some are in person, and some are online, from beginner to expert, by playing alone or in a team. So go check it out and signup for your first CTF.
- http://ctfs.github.io/resources/ – Introduction to common CTF techniques such as cryptography, steganography, and web exploits.
- https://trailofbits.github.io/ctf/forensics/ – Tips and tricks relating to typical CTF challenges/scenarios
- https://ctftime.org/writeups – Explanations of solutions to past CTF challenges
- https://ctflearn.com – A collection of various user-submitted challenges aimed towards newcomers
- https://overthewire.org/wargames/ – A series of progressively more difficult pwn-style challenges. (Start with the bandit series)
- https://picoctf.org/ – Yearly time-limited CTF now available to use as practice
- TryHackME is a free online platform for learning cyber security, using hands-on exercises and labs, all through your browser!
- HackTheBox is a massive online cybersecurity training platform, allowing individuals, companies, universities, and all kinds of organizations around the world to level up their hacking skills.
This might not seem much to some it’s a lot to me since this community has helped me in so many ways is time for me to repay that debt. So go learn and keep on learning and #hacktheworld!.