On October 25, the final round of WhiteHat Grand Prix - Grand Prize 2014 took place simultaneously at two venues of Grand Plaza, Hanoi and Vissai Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City. Two sections of the competition are close chases of teams to win the championship with a prize of VND 100 million.
The 9 teams participating in the Finals of WhiteHat Grand Prix 2014 are excellent teams from the qualification round on September 19, including contestants who have participated and won high rankings in international CTF competitions.
Contestant Nguyen Xuan Khoa of R3d5ky, the youngest team in the Northern region, said: "My team is quite nervous and looks forward to the final round of the competition".
At 9:30 am, the examination room was opened. Team members quickly checked in and got exam cards. Mr. Ngo Tuan Anh, representative of the Organizer announced the opening of the final round of WhiteHat Grand Prix 2014. The rules of the competition were also popularized by the organizer. This round consisted of 2 sectión and lasted for 5 hours. In addition to Jeopardy challenges, teams would participate in the Attack/Defense format, the first time organized in Vietnam.
At 10 am, the first section of the Final Round of WhiteHat Grand Prix was opened, the race between 9 teams at two venues of the South and North officially started. After only 5 minutes, the scoreboard had the first change. PhD.team found the answer to the Network challenge, getting 300 points. This was the top team of the Northern region in the Qualification Round.
Members of PhD.team
Also with the Network 300 challenge, r2u quickly put its name as the second place on the Scoreboard. Next, __BAMB00__, KQCQ and REBD also won the first 300 points. The teams that had not scored points started to act impatiently.
At the 30th minute of the competition, R3d5ky officially entered the competition with the first 300 points. However, at this time PhD.team continued to create some distance with other teams by the second correct answer for Reverse challenge, leading the Scoreboard with 600 points. This gap was only leveled by r2u's effort 20 minutes later with a 300-point answer for Forensics challenge.
The chase between PhD.team and r2u continued fiercely when only 5 minutes later PhD.team correctly answered a Forensics challenge and got 300 points more. However, R3d5ky immediately submitted two correct answers at the same time, occupying the No. 2 position, only 7 seconds behind the temporary leading team of PhD.team. R3d5ky members were now divided into 2 groups and were more excited than ever.
The youngest team of the Northern region R3d5ky
Up to this point, the Scoreboard had names of 6 teams. A technician in the technical support team of the Organizer commented: "The rankings of teams are definitely changing. Babyrobots may have solved some challenges but not submitted yet". babyrobots was the second team on the Scoreboard of the North in the qualifier of WhiteHat Grand Prix 2014.
Around 12 pm, the runner-up babyrobots of the northern region submitted the first answer to Crypto challenge, gaining 300 points. At this time, the Scoreboard had a great change, __BAMB00__ by solving the challenge of Programming 400, rose to the top. However, this position only remained for 1 minute when R3d5ky submitted another answer to Crypto challenge after a hint from the Organizer, raising its total score to 1,200, leading the Scoreboard. r2u and PhD.team seemed to stand still while at the southern venue, REBD submitted more correct answers and took the 3rd place.
babyrobots probably could not wait any longer, submitting the answers in succession for 3 challenges and won more 900 points, equal to the score of the temporary leader __BAMB00__. Although it was time for lunch break, neither team intended to leave the position to get food that was arranged by the Organizer at the end of the examination room.
Taking the lead, babyrobots then answered the challenge of Network 300, taking first place from __BAMB00__, its total score now was 1900. The members of babyrobots since the beginning of the final round were very calm and worked independently, by this point becoming urgent and focusing on just one computer.
High concentration of babyrobots
"It is almost an hour before the end of the competition, but with the recent comeback of babyrobots it is difficult to know in advance the changes in the Scoreboard", a member of the Technical Support Team commented.
13:00, lunch time was over, but almost no contestants considered eating, the Organizer had to arrange the meals and drinking to the position of each team, but the intense focus on the competition made most contestants forget their hunger.
13h10, __BAMB00__ solved another challenge of Forensics 300 points, leveling the distance with babyrobots. The current race seemed to be only between __BAMB00__ and babyrobots for the first place.
However, only 6/12 challenges had been solved, teams still had many opportunities to change their positions in the Scoreboard. The proof was that only 10 minutes later, REBD took advantage of the hint of Web 400 challenge from the Organizer to rise to the top position. The team then continued to consolidate its position by further finding the answer to the challenge Programming 400.
13h30, the organizer gave a hint to the Reverse 500 challenge - exactly the same distance of the current score between REBD and __BAMB00__, 2 teams holding the 1st and 2nd position on the Scoreboard. REBD had only 3 members but was familiar faces in the field of cyber security in Vietnam, having participated and won high rankings in international CTF competitions.
With only 10 minutes left for the first section of the competition, __BAMB00__ closed the gap to 100 points. The organizer continued to encourage teams to make a breakthrough by offering a new hint for the Reverse 500 challenge, the highest score in Jeopardy.
In the last minute of the competition, REBD, __BAMB00__ and PhD.team simultaneously gave the answers but did not affect much to the Scoreboard. At the end of section 1, REBD ranked the first with 2,800 points, followed by __BAMB00__ with also 2,800 points and babyrobots at the third with 2,000 points. 1-26AM was temporarily still in the starting position.
The two challenges with the highest points in the first section of the competition, Reverse 500 and Crypto 400, were not answered by either team.
At 14 o’clock, the Attack/Defense section began. In this competition, each team was provided with a score of 900. Once a successful attack, the attacking team would be added 50 points, while the attacked team would lose 50 points.
Scoreboard of teams at the beginning of the second section
According to the organizer, the first 15 minutes was the time for teams to learn and patch vulnerabilities for their systems. The attacks and defenses officially began when the system information of teams was posted on the competition homepage.
14h28, PhD.team was the first team to win 50 points in the Attack and Defense section, after successfully exploiting the server of babyrobots. After a few minutes, PhD.team went on to win an additional 50 points from KQCQ. However, only a short time later, this team became a victim of r2u, losing 50 points.
Attack and Defense also seemed to be the strength of REBD when at the 35th minute of the competition, the team successfully exploited the servers of KQCQ, bkitsec, Avengers and babyrobots and won 200 points, confirming the No. 1 position. Babyrobots, after losing 100 points due to being attacked by REBD and PhD.team, also won 400 points after successfully exploiting KQCQ, Avengers, bkitsec, R3d5ky.
Not to be outdone, __BAMB00__ also followed REBD very closely, the distance between two teams almost kept at 50 points, while each team's score kept increasing.
The technical support team was always ready
The final round of WhiteHat Grand Prix 2014 would end in the next 15 minutes. PhD.team continuously scored points when successfully attacking the servers of r2u and R3d5ky. The distance between the team and the 3rd ranked babyrobots was 400 points. R3d5ky and r2u seemed to have given up when they realized that nothing could be changed. babyrobots was satisfied with the 3rd place in the Scoreboard.
When the competition was only about 1 minute left, __BAMB00__ successfully attacked the servers of babyrobots and R3d5ky, surpassing REBD to take the first position. The sudden change at the last minute made REBD unable to do anything. The team could only look at the Scoreboard with regret when the competition officially closed.
REBD team at the Southern region
WhiteHat Grand Prix ended with a final victory of 3 members from the __BAMB00__ team with 4,100 points. Ranked second was REBD with 4,050 points. babyrobots ranked the third with 2,900 points.
Sharing after the competition, member Pham Van Khanh of R3d5ky said: "Because this is the first time taking part in the form of attack - defense, my team still had many surprises and could not promote its strengths in the second section. However, I'm not sad because our team tried their best".
A member of PhD.team, the team that scored a lot of points in the second section of the competition, said: "In the last minutes of the round, although we could not change the Scoreboard, our team tried our best to see what we can do. We hope in next year WhiteHat competition, PhD.team will have good results".
Here are some images at the Finals of WhiteHat Grand Prix - Grand Prize 2014:
The R3d5ky team came quite soon
9:30, the exam room was officially opened
A view of the examination hall
Singer Tran Lap with the song "The road to glory day"
Contestant Nguyen Xuan Khoa of R3d5ky answered the interview before the competition time
Mr. Ngo Tuan Anh, Representative of the Organizer opened the Final Round of WhiteHat Grand Prix 2014
Members of the babyrobots team
Focused so much that forgetting lunchtime...
Efforts to find answers...
A break between the two sections
Technical support team of the Organizer
The first prize of WhiteHat Grand Prix 2014 worth VND 100 million belonged to team __BAMB00__
The second prize of VND 20 million belonged to team REBD
babyrobots won the third prize of the competition
Teams in the Northern region took photos with the Organizer