Grand Finale of Inter-Tertiary-Institute Capture the Flag (CTF) Contest 2017 HKUST team captures the checkered flag

[Hong Kong, 12 June 2017] The final round of the ‘Inter-Tertiary-Institution Capture the Flag (CTF) Contest 2017’ took place on 10 June at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) premises. Organised jointly by ASTRI and, the contest was the first of its kind in Hong Kong and Macau.

Ten finalist teams took part in the event finale – representing the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. The contest followed an on-site ‘ethical hackathon’ format focusing on topics like web-security, cryptography and reverse engineering. In addition to demonstrating their skills, the finalists had to rely heavily on real-time team work and cooperation.

Emphasising the importance of grooming our next generation of technology-savvy professionals, Dr Frank Tong Fuk-kay, CEO of ASTRI, said “In the face of growing threats of cyber-attacks worldwide, the demand for cybersecurity is certain to surge. ASTRI is obliged to help train  cybersecurity professionals for both public and private sectors to strengthen their resilience to cyber threats. The ‘Capture the Flag’ contest not only exposes the students to cybersecurity management of the real world, but it also helps pave the way for them to become real experts in the field in future.” Dr Tong thanked the programme partners and sponsors for their support, and also encouraged the participants to “retain their passion in this field and pursue the right career choice for their futures.”

The initiative was backed by ‘GovCERT.HK’ of The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), HKSAR Government. “The first-ever Inter-Tertiary-Institute CTF Contest 2017 was a commendable effort where young learners actively participated and demonstrated their skills. This also raised awareness of the importance of cybersecurity among our students,” said Ir Allen Yeung, JP, Government Chief Information Officer of the SAR. “The contest has equipped students with practical skills and experience in the field of cybersecurity. We hope students will pursue their interest in this field, and leverage their strengths by developing successful future careers,” he added.

“The CTF Contest has been a great platform to identify and nurture young cyber-talents. The first CTF contest in the Mainland took place in 2014 – the number of contests and participants have both grown exponentially there ever since. ‘CTF’ is like a spark, and I can already see the popularity and excitement of CTF in Hong Kong and Macao to go through a dramatic rise in the future. iChunQiu team is very happy to provide Hong Kong and Macao students with technical and knowledge support in this contest,” said Mr Yao Lei, Vice President of

HKT was a diamond sponsor of the programme. Mr Larry Wong, the organisation’s Head of China Commercial and CPE Business, said that “Cybersecurity is a major challenge facing all walks of life nowadays. HKT has rich experience in dealing with cybersecurity, and we are pleased to see that young people are passionate about this contest. HKT will continue contributing to cybersecurity management, and helping young people to become skilled professionals in this field.”

“It has been very exciting and delightful to witness the first local CTF event in Hong Kong. We hope this can enhance the awareness of cybersecurity locally, and inspire our talented young generation to develop professional knowledge and skills in this specialised domain,” said Mr Ronald Pong, Dean of Hong Kong Information Security Academy – another diamond sponsor of the event.

The champion of the contest was Team VXRLNXAlpha from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology who scored the highest marks. The 1st runner-up was Team 400 Pound Hackers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University; while the 2nd runner-up was Team VXRLNXBeta, another team from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Launched on 7 March 2017, the CTF contest held its first-round challenge on 1-2 April where participants competed in a 36-hour, non-stop on-line challenge. 317 students from 96 teams representing 14 institutions took part in the preliminary round.


Officiating guests cheered for the contestants before the Challenge (from the 4th on the left in the front row: Ms Eunice Cheng, Director of Public Affairs, ASTRI; Ir Allen Yeung, JP, Government Chief Information Officer of HKSAR; Dr Duncan Wong, Vice President (Financial Technologies), ASTRI; and Mr Yao Lei, Vice President, iChunQiu College)


Dr Frank Tong (Middle), CEO of ASTRI takes photo with Ms Zhu Yan-fei (2nd from left), Director, iChunQiu College and ASTRI’s working team of the event


Ms Charlene Choo (1st from left), Head of Talent Acquisition, ASTRI presents the prize to the champion team VXRLNXAlpha from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Mr Yau Lei (1st from left), Vice President, iChunQiu College presents the prize to the 1st runner-up team 400 Pound Hackers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Mr Ronald Pong, Dean of Hong Kong Information Security Academy presents the prize to the 2nd runner-up team VXRLNXBeta from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

About CTF

CTF is a globally accepted popular platform modelled as a series of simulated cyber-attacks that emulate what happens in the real-life digital space. This exciting, competitive platform gauges the students’ skills in managing information security and deterring cyber-attacks. The contest is sponsored by HKT – Hong Kong’s telecommunications service provider and leading operator in fixed-line, broadband and mobile communication services, and Hong Kong Information Security Academy (HKISA) – a leading provider of cyber and information security insights and training, as well as Cyberworld (Asia) Ltd and FireEye. The initiative is backed by ‘GovCERT.HK’ of The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), HKSAR Government.


Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.  ASTRI’s core R&D competences in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Opto-electronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technology, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit


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