CTF Gone "Bad"

CTF Gone "Bad"

I'm writing this midway through a CTF, the UMD CTF to be exact. Man am I really out of practice. I'm trying my best to put some points on the board but I can barely remember what to do for some of these things. I'm not a quitter tho, I'm going to get something before this is over.

I want to talk about what I "did wrong" and what I recommend you do. First off I want to take this time to shoutout to Team Lonerz for letting me join this new adventure.

The breakdown

So here is the thing...I got my Sec+ but it isn't all that active on how-to skills. Prior to ~October I was actively doing ctfs and things so my skills were fresh. I tried to refocus for work/life and thus I haven't touched a ctf or any software until the hacker101 "series". This brings me to point 1

Never stop practicing

Even getting back into Hacker101 stuff has been a challenge but if I wouldn't have stopped it wouldn't be like learning how to ride a bike again. Not only that but I almost messed up again so here is point 2...

Never be afraid to ask "how?"

I'm on a team and I yes I want to do things myself, but if someone figures out something you got stuck on ask how. This also brings up my last point...

Work with a team that is more skilled

I use to do hackathons during college and eventually started doing them alone. My best work was when working with people with skills I didn't have to share some of the work (design, backend, website, ect). CTFs are no different as far as splitting the load. My team seems to have more skills than me which is perfect for learning. Even if I don't get the bigger stuff like them I can go back and ask them the tools used and ask questions when stuck.

Granted this isn't over at this time and my confidence is a little shaken. I think what makes good security people is that drive to push through and self-assessment. I'm definitely going to do more of these as time goes on. I like self-paced ctfs or this little one day events. This shouldn't conflict with my other work either but it will help set me apart for business.

P.S. This is the day after....I wasn't able to complete anything. I have to get better.