The INRTU LamaNull team won first place among international students at the HIT CTF 2022 competition

CTF (Capture the flag) is a team game where the main goal is to capture the opponent's "flag". As part of the intellectual tournament, contestants were asked to solve problems in administration, cryptography and steganography. Students also calculated web vulnerabilities and performed "fun tasks" in the JOY category.

Alexander Marinov from the INRTU Cyber Security Competence Center recommended the students to participate in the HIT CTF competition. He acted as an instructor in the work with Harbin Polytechnic University. The LamaNull team was led by Kirill Tushkov, a third-year student at the School of Information Technology and Data Analysis. The lineup included Georgy Nadelayev, Maxim Gubanov, Valery Zhilenkov and Nikita Tyutikov.

According to the captain, there were strong opponents in the competition: 

"Leading the HIT CTF among all foreign universities was helped by our coordinated work, the competent distribution of tasks, based on the competencies of the team members.

For example, Georgy Nadelayev took on steganographic tasks - he searched for information, comprehensively assessed the tasks set, and determined the right ways to solve them."

Valery Zhilenkov managed to find a complex cryptographic sequence of algorithms. The student was helped by his knowledge of the principles of encryption: 

"In one of the problems I encountered a voluminous encrypted line. From the suggested data, I concluded that a cipher was used there many times".

For the first time in the HIT CTF competition, second-year student Nikita Tyutikov demonstrated his skills. Graduate student Maxim Gubanov provided expert support at the hackathon. It should be noted that in 2021 as a member of the BaikalCTF team he also won first place among international students, in the team rating BaikalCTF was on the 18th place.

"Thanks to my background, I can effectively solve problems at such hackathons, and I can help the beginners. The most difficult stage for me is the one related to cryptography. To solve it, you need to have good competences in mathematics, know the implementation of complex algorithms," Maxim Gubanov shared his impressions.

According to Alexander Marinov, the current situation in the security of cyber-physical systems is constantly changing, reaching a new level: 

"In order to improve the competence of students it is necessary to master non-standard solutions (Web, Pwn, Crypto, Misc, Reverse), to develop students' teamwork skills.

International tournaments help to identify trends more accurately, search for vulnerabilities, as well as prevent threats and ensure the security of IT systems".