And Now, for Something Awesome… SANS Launches New Series of Worldwide Capture-the-Flag Cyber Challenges


In March, we launched a new series of virtual, hands-on Capture-the-Flag (CTF) events and have since been delivering weekly cyber challenges to SANS students as well as the larger cybersecurity community for free. Due to overwhelmingly positive response, we quickly expanded the series through the end of August, and added new cyber challenges for our student community in the Asia-Pacific region. 

We’re now excited to announce that we have expanded the series once again and will be offering free interactive challenges on a monthly basis through the end of the year. These are great opportunities for individuals to keep their cybersecurity skills honed during these unprecedented and difficult times. 

Upcoming Events

You’ll find our upcoming schedule of events below, showcasing all the cyber range challenges that are open to the community for free! Please note, registration will open the Monday before each event. 

And don’t forget to check out the NetWars Hall of Fame to see who the winners were for the past Mini-NetWars Challenges.





Sept. 17-18

Best of Mini-NetWars

1:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT (17:00-01:00 UTC)

Register to Participate

Oct. 15-16

SANS Community CTF

Starts at 1:00 pm EDT and runs for 48 hours

Come Back Soon – Open Oct. 12

Nov. 19-20

SANS Community CTF

Starts at 1:00 pm EDT and runs for 48 hours

Come Back Soon – Open Nov. 16


NetWars Holiday Hack

Runs about a month

Come Back Soon – Open in early December

For those participating in the SANS Community CTF events, here’s a few tips on the basics and how to get started from SANS CTO James Lyne:

Why Now Is the Time to Challenge Yourself

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 bad actors have upped their game, SANS is leveraging its battle-tested platforms and infrastructure that it’s been perfecting over the last 18 years to deliver programs that not only keep our community engaged, but challenge cybersecurity pros to up their skills at the same time.

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.”

One last point for those who will be participating and joining us in these challenges over the next few months: If you want to crush these CTFs, we’ve got just the resource to help you on your mission. Pick up some hot tips for crushing CTFs from superstar Katie Knowles in the below video.

Past Cyber Range Events

  • SANS Community CTF (August 27-28)
  • Virtual Core NetWars Tournament (August 20-21)
  • SANS Community CTF (August 13-14)
  • Virtual Cyber Defense NetWars Tournament (August 6-7)
  • Best of Mini-NetWars (July 30-31)
  • Virtual DFIR NetWars Tournament (July 23-24)
  • SANS Community CTF (July 16-17)
  • SANS Community CTF (July 9-10)
  • Virtual Cyber Defense NetWars Tournament (July 3-4)
  • Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 4 (June 25-26)
  • Virtual Core NetWars Tournament (June 18-19)
  • SANS Community CTF (June 11-12)
  • Virtual DFIR NetWars Tournament (June 4-5)
  • Best of Mini-NetWars (May 28-29)
  • Virtual DFIR NetWars Tournament (May 21-22)
  • Virtual Core NetWars Tournament (May 21-22)
  • Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 3 (May 14-15)
  • Virtual Cyber Defense NetWars Tournament (May 7-8)
  • Virtual DISC – SANS ICS NetWars Challenge (April 30)
  • Virtual DFIR NetWars Tournament (April 23-24)
  • Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 2 (April 16-17)
  • Virtual Core NetWars Tournament (April 8-9)
  • Virtual Mini-NetWars Mission 1 (April 2-3)
  • Cyber FastTrack (March 26-27)
  • Virtual Core NetWars Tournament (March 19-20)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from SANS Blog authored by SANS Blog. Read the original post at: