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Overview

Hack a Bit offers high school students the opportunity to learn to hack and break things in a safe ethical environment. The competition teaches bright young people how to make the world a safer place by fundamentally learning how hackers do what they do. Many competitions miss the fact that most young people don't have a background in this stuff and so Hack a Bit focuses on providing an educational track alongside the competition. If you are interested and motivated, you will be competitive!

Winners take home prize money (from a $5k pool) as well as gear, digital books, and vouchers from our sponsors. The winners (you!) also have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals who are desperately in need of technical expects.

Progression

Signup

Interested students can pre-register for the competition now!

For the competition year 2022, you must be at least 13 years of age on the first day of competition and may not be older than 18. All finalists will be verified prior to the last round. For more information on eligibility and terms of service please check out the eligibility details. While the competition staff is looking into offering entry to teams, this first year will be limited to individual participation.

Awards, Prizes & Advancement

Registration is $25 USD and ensures access to at least two rounds of competition with the possibility of advancement to finals depending on placement. Aside from the $5k USD prize pool, every competitor will receive a competition t-shirt and commemorative coin for participating. The competition sponsors are also graciously offering awesome prizes from their organizations such as hacking hardware, digital books, and even hacking lab vouchers. The top quarter of competitors will proceed to the finals round, meaning that there will be 250 seats advancing in the first year. These will be distributed based on events in the Discord server!

For more details on rules and exceptions, please read the rules.

PlacementAwardsPrize Eligibility
1st1$1000
2nd1$500
3rd1$300
4th -> 10th7$150
11th -> 25th15$80
26th -> 50th25$50
Cash prize breakout, top 50 placements.
Evaluation
Qualifier
Final

1 Month - All Registered Participants

Open: 1200am PST, 1 November 2022

Close: 1159pm PST, 30 November 2022


The first round of competition is open to all registrants. This round will take place in an asynchronous testing environment. Questions in this phase of competition assess students across various conceptual areas of cybersecurity to determine broad competency. Scores from this round are used in determining selection to national finals. The first round will be open for approximately a month. Competitors will have 30 minutes to complete the test.

4 Weeks - All Registered Participants

Open: 0500pm PST, 14 January 2023

Close: 1200pm PST, 12 February 2023


Following the testing round, participants will have the opportunity to play an interactive capture the flag game where they solve technical challenges in a live environment. These challenges are focused across the same categories of technical discipline, however, they are hosted live and prove actual technical knowledge via hands-on execution of categories such as forensics, networking analysis and exploitation. All competitors will have the opportunity to participate in this round of competition and it will be live for approximately three weeks.

3 Days - Qualified Participants (~%25)

Open: 0500pm PST, 27 May 2023

Close: 1200pm PST, 30 May 2023


The last round of competition will be a synchronous attack/defense event. This is a live competition where candidates are required to defend their network from peers and keep services running while attacking others to capture resources live. There will also be some capture the flag challenges. Points are awarded based on flags captured and service uptime. This live event will run for approximately two days and the winners will receive the top prizes available as well as direct interface with employers that want them NOW!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

There are a number of youth security competitions out there that you may have heard of: CyberPatriot, CyberStart (FastTrack), PicoCTF etc... but what I've seen in now ten years of running these types of programs is that they all fail in one specific area: education. They give you a competition and tell you to figure it out! This is great for the top 1 or 2 percent but misses most of the youth population. Hack a Bit provides targeted learning alongside focused hacking challenges. This stuff can be hard, but our team has the experience to teach this specific domain in a more effective manner. Anyone can be successful without any prior experience if they have the interest and put in the effort!

Interest and drive. The team has seen time and time again that a driven bright person will out perform talent. Hack a Bit is designed to be effective in the education space and if you show up with a winning attitude, you will win. Hack a Bit provides targeted learning alongside focused hacking challenges. This stuff can be hard, but our team has the experience to teach this specific domain in a more effective manner. Anyone can be successful without any prior experience if they have the interest and put in the effort!

Registration is $25 USD and ensures access to at least two rounds of competition with the possibility of advancement to finals depending on placement. Aside from the $5k USD prize pool, every competitor will receive a competition t-shirt and commemorative coin for participating. If you cannot afford the registration fee, please reach out to our team at [email protected] we will address your needs on a case-by-case basis to ensure that everyone who wants to compete is able to. Your registration fee as well as support from our partners allows us to develop focused education and excellent challenges for YOU! Therefor we ask that you only reach out if this really is a blocker for you, every dollar counts!

Capture the Flag (CTF) in cyber security is an exercise where "flags" are secretly hidden in purposefully-vulnerable programs or websites. Competitors steal flags either from other competitors (attack/defense-style CTFs) or from the organizers (jeopardy-style challenges).


Hack a bit is exclusively a jeopardy-style CTF but this may change in the future to aid in additional learning, likely in the finals round. For this year of competition the finals event is jeopardy-style.

Round 1: No pre-study required, 1 hour of login preparation, testing and feedback.


Round 2: 10-20 hours a week or more will ensure you are very competitive. This will scale up or down so you can either crush if you commit more time or just get a taste if you commit less. The point is that your commit is fundamentally responsible for the success of the competition.


Round 3: Qualified participants should expect to commit the weekend to hacking and attacking challenges as well as receiving cool gear from sponsors and interacting with industry partners.

Yes. You will need to provide proof of age if you qualify for the finals event and wish to participate. Competition staff require this proof in order to keep the competition fair and ensure that those who deserve prizes are awarded them.

If participants qualify for finals but do not play the next available participant will be offered the seat and will need to provide proof of age at that point in time.

Once the first round opens on 1 November 2022, you can start the test at any point in time.

Results will be emailed out within two weeks of the qualifier finishing. Selected qualifiers advancing to finals will be notified within one month of the finals event.

Discord allows you to communicate with the competition team and the competition team to communicate with you. It also allows our industry partners to give out prizes and merch. In the finals event Discord will serve as a stage for our speakers and event staff to host everyone.