Inter-Tertiary-Institute Capture the Flag (CTF) contest 2017 Got High Participation Rate and First Round Contest has Successfully Launched

[Hong Kong, April 7, 2017] Organised by Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and, ‘Inter-tertiary-institution Capture the Flag Contest (CTF) 2017’ is the first-ever competition of its kind in Hong Kong and Macau. ASTRI and successfully hosted the first-round of this contest on 1 and 2 April 2017.

Since being launched on 7 March 2017, the contest has attracted 96 teams with 317 tertiary institute students, representing 14 tertiary education institutes in the two SARs to participate in the contest. In terms of the most enthusiastic and prolific participation, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (HKIVE) led the chart with 81, 64 and 40 students respectively. Most of the participants came from computer science, computer engineering and electronic engineering disciplines.

Throughout the month of March, the participants went through rigorous online learning. They underwent simulation training and practical training on 24 modules which covered, among other topics, CTF case analysis, web-security planning, reverse engineering analysis and a number of international large-scale CTF tournament analysis including DEFCON CTF, XCTF and Baidu Cup.

The first-round contest on 1 and 2 April was split into 13 sessions and followed an ‘ethical hackathon’ format. Participants competed in a 36-hour, non-stop on-line challenge on topics like web-security, cryptography, secure coding and computer forensics etc. Over 50% of the participants ‘captured the flag’ and scored at least in one session in the race while 20% finished over 8 sessions or more.

Top 5 Tertiary Institutes No. of Participants
PolyU 35
CityU 33
No. of Participants in Total 317


“We are excited to see enthusiastic and promising performance of the students from Hong Kong and Macau in this contest,” said Cai Jingjing, founder of “They are fast to learn the skills and eager to prove their potential – that is clearly visible from their excellent performance and scores so far. We hope they will continue to put up a good show and make the final round of this contest a very interesting one,” he added.”We have had an overwhelming, expectation-beating response in this competition – ASTRI is extremely delighted to see the participation of so many enthusiastic and bright students. I believe the teams have found the training modules rich and useful – our sole objective is to equip them with the right, practical skills in cybersecurity,” said Dr Duncan Wong, Vice President of Financial Technologies (FinTech) of ASTRI. He wished the participants the very best for this contest and also “in their endeavour to embrace cybersecurity as a promising career choice for their future.”

The final contest will be on 10 Jun and will follow an ‘attack and defence’ format. Participating teams need to demonstrate high skills in attacking the vulnerable parts of other contestants’ servers and at the same time defend their own against attack from others. Please stay tuned to our final round which looks all set to be an exciting, fiery showdown.


About CTF

CTF is a globally recognised popular platform modelled as a series of simulated cyber-attacks that emulate what happens in the real-life digital space. This exciting, competitive platform will gauge the students’ skills in managing information security and deterring cyber-attacks. The Contest is sponsored by HKT – Hong Kong’s premier 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 Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit


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