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t2'17: Challenge – a break from tradition

2017-08-04 21:30
This year’s pre-conference challenge will be a t2 exclusive bug bounty. For more information on how to participate, 
please see:
https://t2.fi/challenge/t217-challenge/

As we’ve been organizing challenges for over a decade, you might wonder why change now? For several years in a row, the
challenge participant numbers have been steadily declining, despite increased efforts put into creating the technical
puzzles, challenge descriptions and back stories, and actual promotion. It’s not just the number of submissions, but
also the downloads and page views. Thomas Malmberg[0] kindly pointed out that with conference challenges we’re
competing for people’s time – this is the arena where also bug bounties play.

It was time for us to either adapt or perish. This being t2, failure was not an option and quitting is something you do
for apps, not in real life. With conference budgets one simply does not organize a bug bounty – you need friends’ help
for that. That is the reason we partnered up with LocalTapiola[1] to provide you a t2 exclusive bug bounty, targeting a
real world business application running in production environment. To make sure the spirit of t2 challenges is still
there, we are emphasizing the vulnerability quality and proof of exploitability. The challenge is not a speed
competition – the most elegant and meaningful vulnerability submission will receive the free ticket, and we have
adjusted the whole bug bounty process to reflect that.

Once you convert someone else’s medium severity local file read into unauthenticated remote code execution, you start
to value proper analysis and investigation into the technical details of a vulnerability. In other words, 2002 called –
they want their apache-scalp.c[2] back. The 15 year anniversary is a pure co-incidence, as is Dave Aitel’s headline
keynote[3] at t2’17, the stars just happened to align the right way, like good exploitation primitives after putting in
the time and effort.

The challenge is dead. Long live the challenge.

We hope you enjoy the reinvigorated format!

[0] https://twitter.com/tsmalmbe
[1]
https://www.lahitapiola.fi/en/information-on-localtapiola/localtapiola-group/information-on-localtapiola-group/history
[2] https://github.com/perlancar/exploits/blob/master/apache/scalp/apache-scalp.c
[3] https://t2.fi/2017/06/14/dave-aitel-keynote/

--
Tomi 'T' Tuominen | Founder @ t2 infosec conference | https://t2.fi

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