What are CTF’s and why you should play CTF’s?

CTF or Capture the Flags, probably you have not heard of it and there is nothing bad in it and its because CTF’s are quite underrated. So the question is what is CTF and why you should get started with CTF if you want to start your career in cyber security.

This blog is going to be short and I will get straight into the point . CTF or Capture the Flags are challenges based on cyber security and ethical hacking. There are several reasons why CTF’s are helpful. One of the reason is that there are a number of domains within cyber security itself like digital forensics , cryptography , web application hacking , binary exploitation and many more and its not possible for one to master everything. CTF helps us to find the domain in which we are interested.

CTF’s may be underrated but these are very helpful in increasing one’s knowledge regarding cyber security. Besides these CTF competitions are even organised internationally also like the Google CTF, DEFCON, CSAW etc.

So a question may arise that will playing CTF make one a professional in cyber security ? And the answer is that it depends on your experience. Initially if you have never played any CTF you won’t be able to solve any . You need to the study the write ups that are available and understand the approach that others are using and eventually you will be creating your own write ups one day. It requires time and experience in cyber security and playing CTF is a bonus for you.

Are there any prerequisites ? I would not say that no there are no prerequisites, ofcourse you need to have some basic knowledge of hacking and programming. You need to know how to perform a RCE or a SQLI or a XSS , you need to know about cryptography , about the ciphers and even about computer networking . Many are depend on automated tools like sqlmap and yes they help a lot but you need to know the backend process of all these things.

So the final question is from where we can play CTF? There are a lots of sites which host CTF challenges such as HackTheBox , OverTheWire , TryHackMe , Hackerone etc .

I am Rishav , a 3rd year engineering student. Love to explore Technology, besides this I am a Web Developer,a cyber security student, a ml enthusiast.