What is a CTF?

A CTF, or "Capture the Flag" competition, is a type of computer security contest. Strings of text, referred to as "flags," are hidden or encrypted in a series of challenges. During the competition, participants try to decrypt, hack, reverse-engineer, or exploit challenges in order to gain access to these flags. For each flag retrieved, teams get a certain number of points. The teams with the most points win.

How will LASACTF be run?

LASACTF will consist of several dozen problems that gradually increase in difficulty (and point value). The categories will include Binary Exploitation, Algorithms, Reverse Engineering, Cryptography, Web, and others. Some problems can be solved in a matter of minutes, while others may take hours or even days. The source code behind the website and problems will be released after the competition has ended.

Who can compete?

Everyone can compete, but only high school students within the United States will be eligible for prizes. Teams can be formed of up to five students.


12 PM US Central Time on March 19, to 12 PM US Central Time on March 26, 2016.


The competition will be completely free and run entirely online - the only materials teams will need are working computers with internet access and the ability to run desktop applications. Competitors should register their teams online. Registration is open at any point during the contest.


CTF competitions (such as PicoCTF, HSCTF, EasyCTF, and sCTF) were our first introductions to computer security. We want to share our experience with other high school students by running our own.

What constitutes cheating?

In general, use common-sense rules: Attacking or exploiting the server, other teams, or machines not explicitly designated as targets within the problems is considered cheating. This includes both breaking into such machines and denying others access to them (for example, by altering a key or ping-flooding). Sharing keys or providing overly-revealing hints to other teams is cheating, as is being directly assisted by personnel outside the team (using tools from the internet is OK; asking people on the internet to help you solve the problem is not). We encourage you to solve problems in novel and creative ways using all available resources, but we do require that you solve them yourselves.



  • First Place: Google Nexus 9, 2 Intel Edison Boards and Google/GitHub/Silicon Labs swag
  • Second Place: Silicon Labs Wonder Gecko Starter Kits and Google/GitHub/Silicon Labs swag
  • Third Place: Silicon Labs Wonder Gecko Starter Kits Boards and Google/GitHub/Silicon Labs swag
  • Fourth - Tenth Place: Google/Github/Silicon Labs swag

Who is running LASACTF?

LASACTF is run by students at Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School of Austin (LASA), and by extension the Steam Locomotive CTF team. This includes Ehsan Asdar, Arthur Pachachura, Michael Barre, Wilson Nguyen, Ashwin Gupta, Neil Patil, r3ndom, Niels Kornerup, and slackbot.

All Kyles mentioned on this website or within any problems are fictional. Any resemblance to a real Kyle are purely coincidental. We are not responsible for any inadvertent harm to computers resulting from solving competition problems, including but not limited to downloading and running problem files.

Good luck teams!

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