CMU Cybersecurity competition

Competition Rules

Thank you for your interest in the picoCTF 2017 competition (“picoCTF 2017” or the “Competition”) organized by Carnegie Mellon University (“CMU”).

BY CREATING A PICOCTF ACCOUNT (WHETHER FOR YOURSELF AND/OR ON BEHALF OF YOUR CHILD OR YOUR STUDENT) AND PARTICIPATING IN THE COMPETITION CHALLENGES, YOU ARE AGREEING TO THESE COMPETITION RULES WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPETITION. THESE COMPETITION RULES ARE PART OF THE PICOCTF TERMS OF USE AND ARE A LEGALLY BINDING AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU AND CMU. IF YOU ARE A PARENT OR GUARDIAN AND YOU PROVIDE CONSENT FOR YOUR MINOR CHILD TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT AND PARTICIPATE IN THE COMPETITION CHALLENGES, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THESE COMPETITION RULES ON BEHALF OF YOUR CHILD WITH RESPECT TO YOUR CHILD’S PARTICIPATION IN THE COMPETITION.

IF YOU ARE A TEACHER THAT FACILITATES A REGISTRATION ON BEHALF OF A MINOR STUDENT, YOU REPRESENT THAT YOU HAVE CONSENT FROM SUCH CHILD USER’S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN FOR YOU TO CREATE A PICOCTF ACCOUNT AND TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMPETITION CHALLENGES UNDER THESE COMPETITION RULES, INCLUDING THE RIGHT FOR YOU TO PROVIDE THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT FOR SUCH STUDENT.

AS A REMINDER, THESE COMPETITION RULES ARE INCORPORATED INTO AND MADE A PART OF THE TERMS OF USE (WHICH ALSO INCLUDE THE PRIVACY STATEMENT). PLEASE BE SURE TO REVIEW THE TERMS OF USE AND PRIVACY STATEMENT IN ADDITION TO THESE COMPETITION RULES.

What is picoCTF?

picoCTF is a computer security game targeted at middle and high school students. The game consists of a series of challenges centered around a unique storyline where participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the challenge. The challenges are all set up with the intent of being hacked, making it an excellent, legal way to get hands-on experience.

What is the 2017 Competition? When does it start/end?

The Competition involves trying to solve a designated number of problems within a period of Three Hundred Thirty-Six (336) hours. The Competition begins on 31 March 2017 at 12:00pm Eastern Daylight Time and continues until 14 April 2017 at 12:00pm Eastern Daylight Time (the “Competition Period”).

Who is eligible to participate in the Competition? Each individual who participates in the Competition (“Participant”) must:

Please note that you are subject to all applicable Google, Facebook and Twitter terms and conditions, and you agree that CMU and/or its Third Party Providers can access information from the relevant service to perform this authentication. Neither Google, Facebook nor Twitter are involved in this Competition, and no endorsement of this Competition by those companies is implied or intended.

How do I participate in the Competition?

To participate, you must have created a picoCTF account before or during the Competition Period and work on the Competition challenges during some and/or all of the Competition Period.

You do not have to enter the Competition by the first day of the Competition Period. However, the later you enter, the less time you have to work on the challenges during the Competition Period.

NOTE- NOT EVERY PARTICIPANT IN THE COMPETITION IS ELIGIBLE TO WIN PRIZES. PLEASE SEE DETAILS BELOW.

Collection/Use of Your Information.

As described in more detail below in these Competition Rules, CMU may ask you for additional information to confirm that you are in compliance with these Competition Rules and/or the Terms of Use and/or (if applicable) that you are eligible to receive prizes in the Competition (including but not limited to written verification of any necessary parental consent). Please see our Privacy Statement for information about how we collect, use and disclose information you provide. Like these Competition Rules, the terms of the Privacy Statement are incorporated by reference into the picoCTF Terms of Use.

How do I form a Team?

Each team is made up of 1-5 Participants (a “Team”). The registration page will explain how you can invite others to join your Team (which may involve use of a special invitation code).

How do I become eligible to win Team prizes?

In order to be eligible to compete for Team prizes, each Participant and all other members of the Participant’s Team must: (i) be at least 13 but younger than 20 and not have a high school diploma or GED; (ii) have indicated in their registration that they are a middle or high school student and located in the US; and (iii) be enrolled in an accredited United States middle school or high school (“School”) and/or be in the process of being home-schooled at the middle or high school level in compliance with the applicable home-schooling requirements of the applicable student’s home state.

How are the winners determined?

The Team that solves the most problems within the allotted time will be the winner. If more than one Team solves all of the problems, then the Team that solved the problems in the shortest amount of time will be the winner. As described in more detail below, winners (including any tie-breakers, questions about eligibility, etc.) are determined by CMU in its sole discretion.

What are the Team prizes?

Subject to these Competition Rules and the Terms of Use, the Team prizes will be:

What are the other rules and terms for picoCTF 2017?

While there are no limitations on the resources or tools that Participants can use, only the eligible Team Participants may solve challenges as part of the Competition. Team advisors, or anyone outside the Team, may help facilitate the Team's work, such as by helping set up tools or providing resources, but may not provide direct assistance on any problems.

Teams may not interfere with the progress of other Teams, nor with the operation of the Competition's infrastructure. More specifically, attacking the scoring server, other Teams, or machines not explicitly designated as targets is cheating. This includes both breaking into such machines, and denying others access to them or the ability to solve problems (for example, by altering a key or ping-flooding). Sharing keys or providing overly-revealing hints with other teams is cheating, as is being directly assisted by personnel outside the Team (using tools from the internet is OK; asking people on the internet to help solve the problem is not). We encourage Participants to solve problems in novel and creative ways using all available resources, but we do require that Participants solve the problems themselves.

You must comply with the picoCTF Terms of Use and these Competition Rules. As a reminder, the Terms of Use include, among other things, a description of prohibited conduct and limitations on liability and damages.

Answers to problems may not be publicly posted or otherwise shared with anyone outside of your Team members until after the Competition is over.

All information provided to establish an account must be true and correct. You are responsible for keeping such information up-to-date. Failure to keep your account up-to-date may, among other things, jeopardize your eligibility for prizes.

You are solely responsible for keeping your account names and passwords confidential. You are responsible for activity that takes place under your account (including but not limited to activity that may affect your eligibility for prizes). If you believe that your account (or an account you have created on behalf of your child or a student) has been or may be compromised, you must notify CMU by contacting other@picoctf.com as soon as possible.

If you register to be on a Team with other Participants, you understand that information about you may be provided to other Team Participants. In addition, you understand that your School may be informed about your participation in picoCTF and/or may be asked to verify your enrollment. To the extent your School cannot legally release such information about you without your consent and you do not provide such consent, you agree that you and/or your Team may be ineligible for certain prizes if CMU cannot verify your eligibility.

At any time, in the sole and absolute discretion of CMU, CMU shall be entitled to disqualify a Participant and/or Team in the event of a failure to meet relevant eligibility criteria or any other violation or suspected violation of these Competition Rules and/or any Terms of Use (including but not limited to cheating). In the event of a Participant’s disqualification, CMU may also notify the Participant’s School.

CMU will determine participation eligibility, declare winners (including but not limited to in the event of a tie), and award prizes in its sole and absolute discretion. You agree that such decisions are final and are not subject to review or reconsideration, and that Teams are not entitled to be informed of other Teams’ results.

Winning Teams may be asked to produce written solutions for several challenges before receiving prizes. Winning Teams will need an adviser or faculty member at their School to serve as a point of contact.

CMU reserves the right to verify the identity and eligibility of all Participants and Teams at any time. Without limiting the general nature of the prior sentence, prior to (and as a condition of) awarding any prizes, you agree that CMU in its sole and absolute discretion may require additional paperwork to be executed by the relevant Participants (which could include, among other things, written verification of parental consent, verification of information needed to confirm eligibility or compliance with these Competition Rules and/or the Terms of Use, and information needed to facilitate the provision of prizes, including social security numbers and other personal information as needed).

In its sole discretion, Carnegie Mellon University may extend an invitation to an awards ceremony at its Pittsburgh campus. Reimbursement for travel expenses is currently expected to include a round-trip domestic airline ticket (coach) to/from Pittsburgh, hotel accommodations and ground transportation for each applicable Participant on the winning Team, plus one adult chaperone for the Team. As determined by Carnegie Mellon in its sole discretion, Carnegie Mellon may make direct arrangements for such items and/or may reimburse the winning team members and chaperone for their respective documented and reasonable and customary, out –of-pocket expenses for such items.

For any cash prizes awarded to a Team involving more than one Participant, each Participant shall be awarded an equal share of such prize. Prize recipients are responsible for any and all taxes on such prizes. Carnegie Mellon may, in its sole discretion, condition the payment of some or all of the winning Team's cash prize on the Team attening the event at Carnegie Mellon University.

Any prizes awarded are non-transferable, and any non-cash prizes are not exchangeable for cash. CMU’s ability to offer any and all prizes is subject to applicable laws and regulations.

Competition problems or other content on the picoCTF site remains the property of CMU (and/or its content providers). CMU and its relevant content providers reserve any and all of their respective rights in such materials. You are authorized to access and use such materials solely with respect to registration for and/or participation in picoCTF 2017 by you (or on behalf of your child or a student, where applicable). You may not use the picoCTF 2017 site or any materials on it (including but not limited to the Competition problems) for any unauthorized purpose.

The Competition is available only to residents of the United States. The Competition and these Competition Rules are governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. Any claims or disputes relating to picoCTF 2017 or these Competition Rules must be settled in accordance with the Terms of Use (including the dispute resolution and jurisdiction provisions in the Miscellaneous section of the Terms of Use).

The Competition is subject to all disclaimers, limitations on liability and damages set forth in the Terms of Use, as supplemented by these Competition Rules. Without limiting the general nature of the foregoing, you understand and agree that picoCTF 2017 is offered on an AS-IS, WHERE-IS basis without warranties of any kind, and that any and all implied warranties or duties regarding it are hereby disclaimed (including but not limited to warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement). CMU can discontinue the Competition at any time in its sole discretion. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Carnegie Mellon University, its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, affiliates, licensors, content providers, contractors (including but not limited to Third Party Providers) and sponsors (collectively, “PicoCTF Parties”) shall not be liable for any damages, losses or claims resulting from any person’s participation (or attempted participation) in the Competition. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, neither CMU nor PicoCTF Parties are responsible for technical problems or technical malfunction or other occurrences which may affect the operation of the Competition (including but not limited: to hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; failure of any e-mail transmissions to be sent to or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted e-mail transmissions; inaccessibility of the picoCTF 2017 web site or any third party service providers and/or services being used for authentication (e.g., Google, Facebook or Twitter) whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestions on the Internet or the picoCTF 2017 site; and/or inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with picoCTF 2017). To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, you hereby release CMU and the PicoCTF Parties from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to participation in picoCTF 2017.

To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless CMU and PicoCTF Parties from and against any and all claims, suits, actions, losses, expenses, damages, penalties, and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees resulting from any actual or alleged violation of these Competition Rules by you and/or your participation in the Competition.

These Competition Rules shall be enforceable to the maximum extent permitted under applicable law. If any portion of this these Competition Rules is determined by any court or governmental agency of competent jurisdiction to violate applicable law or otherwise not to conform to requirements of law, then the rest of these Competition Rules will remain in effect and the parties will substitute a suitable and equitable provision for the invalid/unenforceable provision in order to carry out the original intent and purpose of the original Competition Rules.

The picoCTF 2017 site or materials may link to and/or refer to third party websites and/or services. CMU does not control or endorse such sites. You are responsible for determining the suitability of those sites or services.

You may not assign, delegate or transfer any of your rights or obligations under these Competition Rules. Any attempted assignment, delegation or transfer shall be void.

These Competition Rules, the Terms of Use (including the Privacy Statement) and your picoCTF 2017 registration represent your entire agreement with CMU with respect to picoCTF 2017.

Presented by our Diamond Sponsor