CyberSCI Security Challenge Toronto
A new first! My first Red Team exercise/competition!
The organisers have asked that we not share details, so that they don't have ton constantly rebuild their scenarios. So, this writeup will not include any specific details from the exercise. That said, I'll talk about the overall format and experience, since we didn't really know what to expect when we signed up for it. The event was as much a training exercise as a competition, and was formatted around a multi-stage breach of a fictional company's network and services.
At each stage, we had some introduction to the basic tools required, and an overview of the principles involved. This was great, as we had a mix of software and network folks on our team (as I'm sure did others), and didn't assume that everyone was at the same proficiency level. Each stage had basic, advanced, and bonus goals with points associated accordingly. Team members who were new to a technique could practice the basics and observe the more advanced members work on the more challenging goals.
Each stage was paced, too, so that slower teams could have a chance to work on the goals before everyone moved on to the next stage. At the end of the stage, we got a brief overview of the solution to the goals, and everyone was able to proceed to the next stage together. This was true right up until the last three stages, which could be done concurrently. At that point in the breach, the field started to spread and the stronger teams were able to exploit more systems and services for more points.
One of the real draws of the exercise, in addition to the red team experience, was the opportunity afforded the top 3 teams - interviews with the sponsor companies. We were lucky enough to edge ahead in the pack and finish in the top 3, so we got the chance to meet with the sponsor representatives to forge some connections for upcoming co-ops, jobs, and industry relationships.
All in all, it was a great event! We learned a lot from the organisers and sponsor reps acting as floating mentors, and had a marvellous time working through the practical and authentic challenges with a fairly restricted toolset.