Security Challenge

Last update: February 21, 2024 - Added Generative AI statement

Are you among the guardians of the modern IT galaxy? Find out in this fun event. In this competition, you will complete a computer security knowledge exam -- similar to what you will encounter on popular certification exams -- and the top 25 scorers will then go head-to-head against vexing security challenges.

Team Composition

The security challenge is an individual event.


Friday, April 5, 2024 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Skills and Resources

The qualifying round will consist of 50-70 multiple choice questions similar to questions found on popular certification exams, as well as questions that will relate to the CTF Finals Competition. In addition, participants should be knowledgeable with topics and tools such as those listed below. Please note this list is not exhaustive, and that not all of the following topics will necessarily be included in the qualifying exam or the CTF finals:

  • IP configuration and testing
  • Database Security Vulnerabilities
  • Web Server Vulnerabilities
  • Web Application Vulnerabilities
  • Social Engineering
  • Password Crackers
  • Penetration Testing Tools
  • Open Source Intelligence
  • Log Analysis
  • Network Traffic Analysis
  • Reconnaissance Techniques
  • Cryptography
  • Vulnerability Identification and Exploitation
  • High-level understanding of security regulations
  • Physical security/access control
  • Policy implementation in a Windows environment
  • Current business security regulations, U.S.A. laws involved with trans-border data flow (PCI, PATRIOT Act, etc.)

Statement Regarding use of Generative AI

We—the USITCC Conference Committee and the Foundation for Information Technology Education (FITE)—recognize the impressive growth, application, and overall utility of AI in shortening the time to completion of projects both professionally and academically. The use of Generative has increased dramatically in recent years. Students, employees, and organizations are leveraging tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, DALL-E, Midjourney, and DeepMind to supplement their own skillsets and produce greater volumes of work.

With that said, we and our cooperative organizations jointly decided to prohibit/ban the use of Generative AI from the 2024 USITCC competition.

The competitions at USITCC are primarily focused on and tailored to the knowledge bases and skillsets of undergraduate students from 2 & 4-year schools. The purpose of these competitions is to gauge, test, and present appropriate challenges for this level of student understanding and the competitions also allow students to detect their own deficiencies and strengths. Students will need to possess a solid understanding of the fields they are competing in on their own merits to truly discover where their strengths and weaknesses lie, such that they may better develop themselves for the professional world in which they are seeking careers.

Therefore, usage of Generative AI to assist in the answering, production, and development of student submissions is prohibited from the competition overall. Violation of this ban may result in the forfeiture of the competitor in that competition. We reserve the right to examine competition related network traffic data during this event. Certain web domain access may be blocked as well.

Return to the competitions overview page.