The 5 W’s of CTF


Have you attended security conferences in the past and wondered why someone would spend hours huddled around their computers playing CTFs instead of enjoying the conference? Have you considered playing but not sure your skills are up to par or that you would even know how to play? In the 5 Ws of CTF’s we will break things down the way we did in grade school by answering the who, what, when, where and why of CTFs. We may even delve into the sixth and maybe most important “w” how.


1) Who plays CTFs? This will detail the experience and knowledge needed to be part of a Capture The Flag competition.

2) What is a CTF. This section will go over the different types of Capture The Flag compensations along with the different types of challenges within the game.

3) When/ Where would one play CTFs? When and where can Capture The Flag games be found, the requirements of participating and an overview of building a team.

4) Why would you spend the time to play CTFs? We will discuss the skills and knowledge that can be learned by participating.

5) How would you play CTFs? Skill sets that are helpful in getting started as well as progressing to more difficult competitions along with where these skills can be learned with hands on experience.

6) The secret sixth W, the write up. The importance of documentation and how it can help strengthen not only the community but yourself.

Slides at:

The 5Ws CTF