Hackers Challenge began as a Jeopardy style game board where each puzzle had a specific point value, and each category progressively opened. Today we keep the familiar appearance, but the game play and scoring system is more dynamic.
Once you have chosen a puzzle to solve, you proceed to find clues, decode hidden messages, learn new skills, and discover a key, token or flag. You submit this to the game server to receive confirmation of a successful solve and claim your points.
The point value of a puzzle is dynamically and retroactively adjusted for each solve. This means that you score may DECREASE through the game as a puzzle is solved by more hackers. Extra points are awarded for the first person to solve a puzzle, and for holding a puzzle as the sole solver.
Some puzzles are not shown on the game board but can be found at SAINTCON for additional points.
The specifics and rules of each years Hackers Challenge are a closely guarded secret, but the general rules include:
The game master reserve the right to disqualify and/or change scores for participants who violate the game rules or participates in unprofessional conduct. We reserve this right without right of dispute or for any other reason we feel is appropriate or prudent.
Also be warned: We have ways of monitoring cheating, sharing of keys, and other shenanigans that might go on. Get away with it... Good for you! Get caught, your score will suffer.
We strongly encourage you to play! The puzzles vary greatly in degree of difficulty and there definitely some YOU can solve. If you don’t know where to get started, visit the Hackers Challenge Lounge at SAINTCON and start asking questions.
The 1st place hacker in the SAINTCON Hackers Challenge receives a SAINTCON Black Badge. The Black Badge is a status symbol. The Black Badge also guarantees free entrance to SAINTCON each year to it’s bearer. Other prizes are also available for playing.
A computer with your preferred operating system (maybe a few others too) and your curiosity to figure out new things.
To ensure that the game is played fairly only registered conference attendees will be able to play.
The game server and most puzzles will be available worldwide via the internet. There may be a few puzzles that can only be solved at the conference.
Team play is not explicitly forbidden, but we will only acknowledge one person as the winner and receiver of the Black Badge. The game server does not have a mechanism for enabling team play.
The specifics of Hackers Challenge are a closely guarded secret, but if you have more questions feel free to reach out to jg[at]utahsaint[dot]org.
For this challenge, you will need to find the right location for all future challenges. For some it will be easy, for others the quest may be hard. It all comes down to how 1337 you are.
Use the clues provided to navigate to the WEBSITE of the Hackers Challenge PRECON event. Once located, navigate to the website and follow the instructions for completing the first challenge. Details on how the game will be played and the prizes are listed on the official website. It will also be in your best interest to NOT share it's location with others.
This should be the easiest of what will be some incredible challenges.