We know it’s only February, but it’s time to start thinking about DEF CON 25 and the Social Engineer Capture the Flag competition (SECTF for those of you in the know).  The SECTF is your chance to publicly schmooze, vish, elicit, smooth-talk, and social engineer in front of an eager audience of peers for fabulous prizes and the always amazing street cred of being “The Social Engineer Champion.”



But enough of the marketing hype, this competition has a reputation to uphold. Every year, hundreds line up outside the SE Village for a chance to see our contest live. This competition has been a driving force behind the increased awareness of the dangers SE poses to infosec and physical security for the past seven years. All this from SE rookies (and a few veterans) like yourself who decided to put themselves to the test. In honor of this influential tradition, SE Village strives to find those diamonds-in-the-rough in order to give them that chance to prove they are shiny. This year: We Want You!

The SECTF has two distinct parts and you must participate in both to be eligible to compete.

The Pre-DEF CON Basics:

  1. Submit a video application (Rules and Registration guidelines )
  2. If you are accepted, pay your fully-refunded-upon-arrival deposit of $20 to compete.
  3. Get your assigned target and instructions for the pre-DEF CON portion of the competition by the deadline outlined in your acceptance email. This involves a list of flags you need to find using ONLY open-source information (Rules page goes into more detail).
  4. Hand in your OSINT report for the judges to score.
  5. Take time to come up with pretexts and questions for the live-portion of the competition.

The basics of the Live Competition at DEF CON:

  1. Arrive at DEF CON.
  2. Show up for your time slot (get that twenty bucks back).
  3. Take your seat in the soundproof booth for 25 minutes and perform incredible SE feats while capturing as many flags as possible (see Rules for the list of Dos and Don’ts!)
  4. Pat yourself on the back and bask in the courage and validation of stepping up to the challenge.

If you think you have what it takes to compete in this years SECTF