Eligility for Participation

  • If you were part of a team that placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd during the previous Cyber Security Challenge final, you cannot participate as a team member in the 2024 Cyber Security Challenge.
  • However, if you need to participate as a requirement to complete a practical, you can then still register and participate in the qualification round but you will not be eligible to qualify for the finals.
  • Previous winners will be allowed to participate as a team mentor for the 2024 Cyber Security Challenge.
  • Team members must be made up exclusively of students from SADC tertiary educational institutions and be registered for tertiary studies for 2024.

General Rules for Participation (Qualification and Final)

Team Size
  • Teams are restricted to 3 members if all members are of the same gender, otherwise the teams can be up to 4 members.
  • The team leader is a member of the team that has been designated as the Point of Contact (PoC) for that team.
    • The organisers will interact with the team leader regarding all correspondence related to the competition.
  • Teams must compete without any outside aid from non-team members.
Team Eligibility
  • Team members must be made up exclusively of students from SADC tertiary educational institutions.

Additional Rules for the Qualification Round

  • Each team is expected to participate in the qualification round remotely.
  • The qualification round with consist of a collection of Capture the Flag challenges.
  • Hints are made available for certain challenges and used by teams at their own discretion. Used hints will not be reversed by the organisers.
  • Organisers will respond to participant queries by the next business day.
  • The organisers will invite the top teams to attend the final round at the CHPC National Conference.
    • Please note, teams will have to achieve a minimum in the qualification round to be invited to the finals.
    • The organisers’ decision is final and no negotiations or correspondence with participations will be entered into.
  • At the discretion of the organisers, more than one team from an institution may be invited.

Additional Rules for the Final Round

  • All team members should be present at the event.
  • All team members will wear badges identifying team affiliation at all times during competition.
  • If the member of a team advancing to the final round of the competition is unable to attend, that team may substitute a person in their place, as long as that person qualifies under the eligibility rule.
  • Teams may not modify the hardware configurations of competition systems.
    • Teams must not open the case of any system such as, laptop, monitor, router, switch, firewall, or any other piece of equipment used during the competition.
  • Teams may not remove their assigned laptops from the competition area unless specifically authorised to do so by organisations members.
  • All network activity that takes place on the competition network will be logged and subject to anonymised release.
  • Teams will be supplied with laptops for the competition.
    • This is to ensure a fair base for the games.
    • These laptops are not allowed to be moved from the booths.
  • All team members are expected to attend morning briefings, plenary speakers sessions and the prize ceremony and dinner.
  • In addition to published rules, new policies and rules may apply throughout the games.
    • These rules will be communicated to each team leader.
  • Social Engineering is allowed at the competition, but strictly limited to Cyber Security Challenge participants.
  • Sabotage is not allowed.
  • If unsure ask the organisers.

Challenges for the Final Round

  • Capture The Flag Challenge
    • This challenge will consist of a collection of hacking puzzles (web security, reverse engineering, mobile security, digital forensics, etc.).
  • Attack and Defend Challenge
    • The last day of the competition, teams will be required to defend a system, and attack the other teams’ systems.
  • Sponsored Challenges
    • Unique challenges that provides students with the opportunity to gain exposure to other forms of cyber security.