Students solved complicated digital problems in international competition

Today, digital threats are a growing problem. To prepare for a professional carrier within this area of crime, a group of students from Halmstad University participated in a competition with various digital challenges.

The Capture the Flag competition was arranged for the fourth time by the tool vendor Belkasoft and took place on March 11–12. There were various challenges, like decoding cypher text, forensics case investigations, and hacking machines and devices.

“It’s a very fruitful activity and anyone can participate, especially students. It’s a good way to judge oneself and for self-analysis concerning ‘where do I stand’”, says Muhammad Ahsan Rasool, Lecturer in Network Forensics.

“Competitions like this one challenges you and allow you to find out if this is really something you want to do”

Matti Molin student, IT forensic and information security

Challenging realistic cases

The challenge let the participants test themselves in a close-to-real-life case.

“In this CTF competition we were given a scenario where a wealthy family’s son had been kidnapped. The only trace of the son was his computer. We, as IT forensics, tried to figure out what had happened. The case was realistic and you looked for things that felt real”, says Matti Molin, IT-forensics student at Halmstad University.

A man with glasses looks into the camera smiling.

Matti Molin participated in this year's Capture the Flag.

Test your knowledge

IT and technology are developing rapidly and it is important to be prepared for different kinds of digital threats.

“This is one of the best ways for students to learn through challenging themselves, explore their weaker area of knowledge and polish their problem-solving skills with the help of modern tools and techniques”, says Muhammad Ahsan Rasool.

Matti Molin and his fellow students were able to solve the kidnapping case and they all were in the top 25 in the competition.

“It was a very rewarding experience. In our education we get a foundation, but there is also a lot around you can do to build extra knowledge. Competitions like this one challenges you and allow you to find out if this is really something you want to do”, says Matti Molin.

Text and picture: Anna-Frida Agardson