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Cyber Readiness Challenge

Cyber Readiness Challenge
Protect and Prevail

Upcoming Events: September 16, 2014, in Detroit Michigan, and October 14-16, 2014 Online challenge

Recruiting Security Experts Worldwide

Sun Tzu once said, "Know both yourself and your enemy and you can win a hundred battles without jeopardy."

The Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge is an immersive, interactive capture the flag competition that models scenarios after the current threat landscape using realistic IT infrastructure. Designed for many levels of technical skill and experience it puts participants in the hacker's shoes to understand their targets, technology and thought processes so they can ultimately better protect their organization and themselves.

Offered as both online and live onsite events at numerous locations around the world, participants will have the opportunity to test, practice and develop their security skills within a unique and real world inspired environment developed by Symantec, the global leader in security. While participating in this event, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Sharpen skills such as forensics, ethical hacking and more
  • Expand your awareness of targets and threats
  • Learn and try new techniques and tools
  • Compete against your peers for prizes and bragging rights
  • Earn Continuing Professional Education, or CPE, credit

Bringing together some of the world's leading experts in IT security, this innovative competition will offer a keynote presentation by renowned security experts on the current security landscape and provides a fantastic environment for networking and knowledge sharing.

Space is limited so register today for an event near you to guarantee your place!

Are You Ready for the Cyber Readiness Challenge?

Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge

How to Participate in the Cyber Readiness Challenge

Interested in participating in the Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge? Watch this dynamic video to understand how to play and what to expect. Let the Games Begin!
Watch the video
Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge

Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge

Are you ready for the Cyber Readiness Challenge?
Watch the video
Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge - Toronto

Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge - Toronto

More than 120 IT security professionals assembled at Toronto's Design Exchange to test their security expertise in Symantec's Cyber Readiness Challenge.
Watch the video

From Previous Challenges

London, UK

Dallas, Texas

Date Location Register
September 16, 2014 Detroit, Michigan Register now
October 14-16, 2014 Online Event Register now





The Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge Event (the “Challenge”) is a competition for IT security enthusiasts. Enthusiasts put themselves in the shoes of hackers and compete within an assimilated real world data center environment provided by Symantec. Symantec presents a series of online challenges or tasks to Participants, whose mission is to protect targets or disrupt the status quo. The Challenge is designed to be fun and competitive for all technical skill levels and to help support global security awareness.


The Challenge is sponsored by Symantec Corporation at 350 Ellis St., Mountain View, California, 94043, U.S.A. (the “Sponsor”).


The Challenge is open to persons who are legal residents of one of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia (excluding Guam, Puerto Rico, and all other U.S. territories and possessions) or Canada (excluding the province of Quebec). Void in Guam, Puerto Rico, Quebec, and where prohibited by law. Participants must have reached the age of majority in their state or province of residence at the time of entering the Challenge in order to participate. Persons in any of the following categories are NOT eligible to enter, participate, or win in the Challenge: (a) persons who on or after Monday, November 6, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) were or are officers, directors or employees of Sponsor or any of its respective parent, subsidiary, or affiliated companies, or service agencies, or independent contractors of any of the above organizations; (b) individuals engaged in the development, production, or distribution of materials for the Challenge; and (c) persons who are immediate family members (defined as spouse or biological or step- mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, or son and each of their respective spouses) of any person in any of the preceding categories, regardless of where they live, and/or individuals who reside in the same household, whether related or not, as any person in any of the preceding categories. Any questions or issues concerning eligibility shall be determined at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.


No purchase necessary to enter the Challenge, and no entrance or participation fee applies, but prior online registration is required to participate in a specific Challenge location.

Participants must register online at https://secure.e-ventcentral.com/events/CyberReadinessChallenge/ at least 72 hours in advance of Participants’ attendance of a specific Challenge.

The Challenge may begin as early as 12:01 a.m. PT on the date a Challenge launches and continue through 11:59 p.m. PT on the date the Challenge ends with the specific timeframe within the Challenge date to be provided in advance on the Challenge Website at http://www.symantec.com/theme.jsp?themeid=cyber-readiness-challenge (the “Challenge Period”).

The Cyber Readiness Competition Rules provided at http://www.symantec.com/theme.jsp?themeid=cyber-readiness-challenge, govern the Challenge and are incorporated herein by reference and supplement these Official Rules. Any inconsistency between the rules, these Official Rules prevail.

During the Challenge, Participants must use their own laptops or notebook computers for participation in the Challenge. The following minimum system requirements are recommended for the Challenge:

  1. 1 Ghz Intel x86 compatible processor (2 Ghz with virtualization extensions recommended)
  2. 2 GB of RAM
  3. 20 GB of free disk spac
  4. Windows 2000 or later, OS X 10.4.11 or later, Linux 2.4.10/2.6.4 or later, BackTrack 4 or later
  5. The Sponsor will provide an assimilated real world data center environment within which Participants can participate and compete in the Challenge. The Challenge consists of a series of IT security related challenges or tasks based on a difficulty level according to low, medium, and high. Low tasks are less difficult than medium tasks, which are both less difficult than high tasks. Participants who complete a task will have captured an online “flag,” and thereby be awarded the following points based on the difficulty level of such task successfully completed by the Participant:

    High 350 points
    Medium 200 points
    Low 100 points

    Points are awarded based on completing each IT security task and are accumulative during the Challenge. The top three (3) Participants with the highest number of total points at the end of the Challenge are eligible to win the following prizes:

    Top 3 Winners Prizes
    1st place with total highest points $2,500.00 Visa gift card or comparable ARV gift prize (USD or CND)
    2nd place with total highest point $750.00 Visa gift card or comparable ARV gift prize (USD or CND)
    3rd place with total highest points $500.00 Visa gift card or comparable ARV prize value(USD or CND)

    While Participants are competing to capture online “flags” and completing tasks, throughout the Challenge, Participants have opportunities to win additional prizes based on the fastest Participants to correctly complete each task at each difficulty level during the Challenge. The numbers of winners for the fastest completion of a task at each difficulty level with the corresponding prize groups are detailed below:

    Level Number of Winners Prize Group
    High Up to 18 Participants, who correctly complete tasks Prize Group A (ARV $300.00, e.g., Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter or other comparable prizes)
    Medium Up to 13 Participants, who correctly complete tasks Prize Group B (ARV $150.00, e.g., Google Nexus Tablet, Amazon gift card, or other comparable prizes)
    Low Up to 19 Participants, who correctly complete tasks Prize Group C (ARV $50.00, e.g., Amazon gift card, iTunes gift card, or other comparable prizes)

    Total Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) for all prizes for each Challenge location will range from $4,250.00 to $12,050.00. Prizes are not transferable, exchangeable, or redeemable for cash, and the prizes must be accepted as awarded with no substitutions of any kind except by the Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute a prize of comparable or greater value at its sole discretion.

    5. WINNERS

    During the Challenge, potential winners are selected based on the criteria and scoring of points outlined above. Sponsor’s clock is the sole official timekeeper. Winners must be present to win. If the potential winner is a Canadian resident, he or she must answer correctly, without assistance, a time limited mathematical skills testing question before being awarded any prize. If a potential winner is found to be ineligible, is not in compliance with the Official Rules, or declines to accept the prize, the prize in question will be forfeited, and in the Sponsor’s sole discretion, may or may not be awarded to an alternate potential winner. All decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding. Any right to receive a prize is non-assignable and non-transferable, and no prize substitution, exchange, or cash equivalent will be allowed, except by Sponsor who reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value in case of unavailability of a prize as determined solely by Sponsor. All details and other restrictions of prizes not specified in the Official Rules will be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

    Winners shall be solely responsible for any required federal, state, provincial and/or local taxes, sales tax, surcharges, service charges, delivery, processing and handling fees, and all other costs incurred in claiming the prize. Where applicable, winners will be issued a 1099 Tax Form following the receipt of a prize for the retail value of the prize. If required by law, Sponsor reserves the right to withhold and remit to the appropriate taxing authorities the amount of any tax or taxes due. With respect to non-cash prizes, it may be legally necessary, as determined by Sponsor, for the prize winner to pay the amount of any tax before receiving the prize. All costs and expenses not expressly set forth herein shall be solely the winners’ responsibility.

    If Participants has any questions regarding the rules or scoring of the Challenge, Participant should promptly contact Sponsor in advance of the start date of the Challenge. Any issues or objections regarding the Challenge must be in writing and delivered to the Sponsor. The Sponsor shall be the final arbitrator of any such issue or objection. If an issue or objection cannot be resolved to the Sponsor's satisfaction, the affected Participant will be deemed ineligible to win a prize, but the Official Rules will otherwise continue to govern the affected Participant and the Challenge. A decision or ruling by the Sponsor is final and non-appealable.

    Winners will be required to sign and return affidavits of compliance and eligibility, a liability release, and where lawful, a publicity release (collectively, "Prize Claim Documents"). Confirmation of prize winners is subject to Sponsor's verification of the Prize Claim Documents.


    All Participants agree that personal data, especially name and address, may be processed, stored, and otherwise used for the purposes and within the context of the Challenge and any other purposes outlined in the Official Rules, Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, and any opt-in a Participant may have agreed to during the registration process. Participants further agree that the data may also be used by the Sponsor in order to check Participants’ identities, emails, postal addresses, telephone numbers, or to otherwise verify the eligibility to participate in the Challenge.

    7. RELEASE


    By entering the Challenge, each Participate agrees: (i) to be bound by the Official Rules and by all applicable laws and decisions of Sponsor which shall be binding and final; (ii) to waive any rights to claim ambiguity with respect to the Official Rules; (iii) to waive all of his or her rights to bring any claim, action, or proceeding against Released Parties in connection with the Challenge; and (iv) to forever and irrevocably agree to release, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Released Parties from any and all claims, lawsuits, judgments, causes of action, proceedings, demands, fines, penalties, liability costs and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable outside attorneys’ fees) for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from: (a) the Challenge, including but not limited to any Challenge-related activity or element thereof, and the Participant’s entry, participation, or inability to participate in the Challenge, and (b) the violation of any third party privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights.


    The Released Parties assume no responsibility for any damage to your computer system, laptop, or notebook, which is occasioned by accessing the Challenge data center, software, system, and/or Website or participating in the Challenge, or for any computer system, phone line, hardware, software, or program malfunctions, or other errors, failures, delayed computer transmissions or network connections that are human or technical in nature. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted, inaccessible, or unavailable networks, servers, satellites, Internet Service Providers, websites, or other connections; or for miscommunications, failed, jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected computer, telephone, or cable transmissions; or for any technical malfunctions, failures, difficulties or other errors of any kind or nature; or for the incorrect or inaccurate capture of information, or the failure to capture any information. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Challenge or the Challenge Website or system, to be acting in violation of the Official Rules, or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge, or to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other Participant or Sponsor, and Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.


    To the maximum extent permitted by law, by participating in the Challenge, Participant agrees to indemnify the Released Parties from any liability, claim, demand, loss, damage, cost, and expenses arising from Participant’s non-compliance with the Official Rules for which Sponsor will or may become liable, including violation of third party rights, including without limitation, intellectual property, confidentiality, privacy, trade secret, and other rights.


    In the event Sponsor is prevented from awarding prize(s) or continuing with the Challenge as contemplated herein by any event beyond its control, including but not limited to fire, flood, natural or man-made epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, computer or system failure, riot or civil disturbance, terrorist threat or activity, war (declared or undeclared) or any federal, state, or local government law, order, or regulation, public health crisis (e.g. SARS), order of any court or jurisdiction, or other cause not reasonably within Sponsor’s direct control (each a “Force Majeure” event or occurrence), then subject to any governmental approval which may be required, Sponsor shall have the sole right to modify, suspend, or terminate the Challenge. If the Challenge is terminated for Force Majeure before the designated end date or time, Sponsor may, if possible, select the winner(s) from the eligible, non-suspect Participants prior to such termination, modification, or suspension.


    The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of the Official Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, the Official Rules shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.


    All issues or questions regarding the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of the Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Participants and Sponsor in connection with the Challenge, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of California. Participants agree that any demand, dispute, claim, or cause of action relating to the Challenge shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action and pursuant to Section 5 herein. Participants hereby consent to the jurisdiction and venue residing exclusively within the federal or state courts located in Santa Clara County, California, USA.

Rules of Conduct

  1. Participants are expected to behave professionally at all times.
  2. Participants will not tamper with, modify, or attempt to manipulate any element of the competition including scoring and management systems.
  3. Denial of Service (DOS) attacks are not allowed.
  4. Participants will not reboot, shutdown, or intentionally disable the services or functions of the target systems.
  5. Participants will not conduct any offensive actions that scan, attack, or interfere with another participant’s system.
  6. Participants will not enter another participant’s workspace, nor attempt to deceive, hoax, or assist other participants by any means.
  7. Participants must compete without “outside assistance” from non-participants.
  8. Participants may not publicly disclose information about the competition or targets including flags or their means of obtaining them without the express written consent of Symantec.
  9. Participants understand that violation of this code of conduct or of these rules is grounds for their immediate dismissal and disqualification from the competition, as well as removal from the competition area.

Internet Usage

  1. Internet access may or may not be provided.
  2. Internet resources such as company websites, FAQs, and existing forum responses may be used during competition provided there are no fees, membership, or special access required. Only resources that could reasonably be available to all participants are permitted.
  3. All network activity that takes place on the competition network may be logged and subject to release.

Permitted Materials

  1. Participants may not connect more than one (1) laptop or notebook computer to the competition network unless specifically authorized to do so. Virtual machines may be used as long as only one (1) IP address is in use.
  2. Memory sticks, flash drives, removable drives, CD/DVDROMs, electronic media, or other similar electronic devices are not allowed unless specifically authorized.
  3. Printed reference materials (books, magazines, checklists, etc.) are permitted.
  4. All competition materials, including equipment, handouts, and participant-generated reports and documents, must remain in the competition area unless specifically authorized. Only materials brought into the competition area may be removed after the competition concludes.

Questions and Disputes

  1. Participants should work with the competition staff to resolve any questions regarding the rules of the competition or scoring methods before the competition begins.
  2. SShould any question arise about scoring, the scoring engine, or how they function, participants should immediately contact the competition staff.
  3. Protests must be presented in writing to the competition staff as soon as possible. The competition officials will be the final arbitrators for any protests or questions arising before, during, or after the competition. Rulings by the competition officials are final. All competition results are official and final as of the end of the competition.


  1. Scoring will be based on completing tasks that will be provided throughout the competition. Participants accumulate points by successfully obtaining flags and entering them into the scoring system.
  2. Scores will be maintained by the competition officials and may be shared at the end of the competition. Running totals may be provided during the competition. Rankings for some portion of the top participants may be provided during the competition.
  3. Attacking or otherwise interfering with the scoring system is specifically prohibited.

Player Information

Cyber Readiness Challenge Player's Manual

Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge

How to Participate in the Cyber Readiness Challenge

Interested in participating in the Symantec Cyber Readiness Challenge? Watch this dynamic video to understand how to play and what to expect. Let the Games Begin!
Watch the video

Technical Requirements

1. Participants will provide their own laptop or notebook computer with the following minimum recommended requirements:

  • 1 Ghz Intel x86 compatible processor (2 Ghz with virtualization extensions recommended)
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 20 GB of free disk space
  • Operating system including Windows 2000 or later, OS X 10.4.11 or later, Linux 2.4.10/2.6.4 or later, and/or Backtrack 4 or later
  • Virtualization, if desired, including VMware Workstation or Player (for Windows or Linux), VMware Fusion (for OS X), or VirtualBox (multiple OS')
  • The latest version of Java

2. Participants will provide their own ethical hacking toolkit, such as Backtrack.