We’re excited to announce the launch of our new series of virtual, hands-on Capture-the-Flag (CTF) events! We’ll be delivering our new virtual NetWars offerings on a weekly basis, now through May 31, and we have a variety of fun and engaging CTF events suited for people across the cybersecurity community.
I don’t need to tell you that these are unprecedented times for the world. Businesses and individuals have had their lives upended to varying degrees and many are facing travel restrictions or shelter-in-place orders. To help individuals and organizations keep their cyber security skills honed at times like this, the SANS Cyber Ranges team has been hard at work coming up with fresh content and interactive challenges. And in this time of social distancing, we want to provide the opportunity for people to come together to interact in a virtual environment, while learning and improving cyber skills in the process.
“As you know, these are difficult times,” said Ed Skoudis, SANS Fellow and Director of SANS Cyber Ranges. “But also, the attackers have really stepped up their game, and they’re doing some really nasty stuff. I mean, you think, ‘Wow, this is a time when people should kind of band together and we should help each other.’ And that’s all true and good, but bad people are really bad.”
Because these malicious attackers have upped their game, SANS is leveraging its battle-tested platforms and infrastructure that it’s been perfecting over the last 17 years to deliver programs that not only keep our community engaged but challenge cybersecurity pros to up their skills at the same time.
Take Me to the Cyber Ranges!
Here’s the schedule of events thus far, with more details to come for each event as well as for future offerings:
- March 19-20 | Virtual Core NetWars Tournament
- March 26-27 | Cyber FastTrack**
- April 2-3 | Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 1**
- April 8-9 | Virtual Core NetWars Tournament
- April 16-17 | Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 2**
- April 23-24 | Virtual DFIR NetWars Tournament
- April 30 | Virtual DISC - SANS ICS NetWars Challenge**
- May 7-8 | Virtual Cyber Defense NetWars Tournament
- May 14-15 | Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 3**
- May 21-22 | Virtual Core NetWars Tournament
**Open to the entire community, for FREE (registration required).
Registration details coming soon
While we are thrilled to offer the majority of these events to the entire community for free, we are also pleased to be able to offer something special for students enrolled in a live SANS course between March 1 and May 31. Those students will gain access to all of our Core, DFIR, and Cyber Defense NetWars Tournaments according to the schedule above. Usually, students at SANS Live Training events get access to just one NetWars challenge, but now students will get to try “all the various flavors of NetWars over the various weeks,” as Ed described it -- and multiple times, too.
Students will receive emails with instructions on how to register for each of the special virtual NetWars events, and registration will be made available in your SANS account dashboard.
If you haven’t participated in a NetWars CTF event, you’re missing out on a super fun way to hone your skills. “CTFs are a tremendous learning vehicle,” Ed said – and he should know, Ed’s been playing CTFs for about 25 years now. “The SANS CTFs are especially nice because we have an integrated hint system, so if you get stuck, you can get some nudges, and that way you’re learning and teaching yourself as you go.”
We’re excited to see our community come together in this way in the weeks and months ahead, and we remain committed to supporting our community in this difficult time.
And one last point for those who will be participating: If you want to crush these upcoming CTFs, we’ve got just the resource for you. Pick up some hot tips for crushing CTFs from superstar Katie Knowles in this video below.
Bookmark this blog page and check back in often in the coming weeks and months. We’ll be updating this space with more information about NetWars and other SANS CTF events as it becomes available.
UPDATE: April 8, 2020 -- We've updated scheduled dates for Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 2 (April 16-17) and Virtual DFIR NetWars Tournament (April 23-24).
UPDATE: March 27, 2020 -- We've added the link to the registration page for Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 1 (April 2-3).
UPDATE: March 27, 2020 -- We've updated the scheduled dates for the Virtual Cyber Defense NetWars Tournament (May 7-8) and Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 3 (May 14-15), and added the Virtual DISC - SANS ICS NetWars Challenge (April 30) and Virtual Core NetWars Tournament (May 21-22) to the series schedule.