Air Force Research Laboratory, Griffiss Institute, and Red Balloon Security to launch sophisticated cyber challenge at DEFCON 27

  • Published
  • By Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY, INFORMATION DIRECTORATE, Rome, N.Y. – The Air Force Research Laboratory is partnering with the Griffiss Institute and Red Balloon Security to put on a sophisticated cyber challenge at one of the world’s largest hacker conventions, DEFCON 27, in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Aug. 9–11, 2019.

      As it becomes increasingly important to work with highly skilled and creative cyber security experts, the Air Force Research Laboratory is piloting new concepts for building relationships and working with communities it does not typically engage with. This challenge is designed to appeal to individuals that have an aptitude for cyber security research and are able to creatively solve complex problems. 

      Capture the Flag (CTF) contests are prominent in the computer security world wherein teams or individuals set out with the goal of “capturing” a flag (commonly a file) that is protected by security measures. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Griffiss Institute and Red Balloon Security CTF challenge, titled “No Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Hack,” is a three staged challenge that involves reverse engineering embedded and cyber-physical systems, discovering vulnerabilities in these systems, and putting it all together in a real world setting. To win, participants will have to circumvent remote monitoring systems, remote defense systems, and access control systems in an attempt to gain access to a secure container.

      Prizes will be awarded for completion of each stage and the top-scoring, eligible winner will be offered a one-year, competitively paid internship where they will work alongside scientists and engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York for six months and with Red Balloon Security for an additional 6 months in New York, New York. Participants eligible for this internship must be United States citizens, 18 years of age, be working on a degree or have graduated from an accredited college or university in the United States, be eligible to work in the United States without a sponsor, and be able to obtain a Secret level security clearance.

      For more information, visit the contest page: