The 2016 NSA Codebreaker Challenge has concluded. Thank you to everyone that participated and congratulations to each student that was able to make progress in the challenge! We hope that each participant was able to improve his/her reverse engineering abilities while also getting a realistic look at some of the work involved in carrying out the NSA's mission.

Also, we especially congratulate the 15 individuals that made it through all six tasks in the challenge! None of the tasks were trivial to solve, but task 6 in particular required demonstrating an exceptional ability to analyze unfamiliar code, defeat several anti-reverse engineering tactics, and ultimately craft an exploit leveraging vulnerabilities similar to those that exist in real-world applications. Excellent work!

Overall, there were:

  • 3325 students participating from 481 educational institutions
  • 954 students that solved Task 1
  • 751 students that solved Task 2
  • 492 students that solved Task 3
  • 379 students that solved Task 4
  • 119 students that solved Task 5
  • 15 students that solved Task 6

The tables below show more results from the challenge. Each table can be sorted by clicking on a column, and the search box at the top allows you to search for a specific university.

Solution Totals

The table below highlights the total number of participants from each university, along with the number of correct solutions to each task.

UniversityStudents ParticipatingTask 1Task 2Task 3Task 4Task 5Task 6
University of Maryland, Baltimore County1363125171530
University of Hawaii3412119940
Texas A&M University - College Station13231239810
University of Delaware5000000
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University6919138810
Champlain College3718135500
Baker College6100000
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs35141210930
James Madison University16521000
Dakota State University1005640262080
University of South Alabama4100000
United States Naval Academy31210000
University of Alabama at Birmingham12000000
Northwestern State University1000000
Bowie State University1815140000
Florida Atlantic University4100000
Craven Community College4110000
Naval Postgraduate School15776651
East Stroudsburg State University of Pennsylvania8332000
Hampton University5000000
University of Maryland - University College281065410
University of Illinois at Springfield4412109700
Tennessee Technological University131098100
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology271414131270
Southern Utah University13433200
University of Houston26542200
Carnegie Mellon University742826161163
United States Air Force Academy11631000
Virginia Community College System62752100
California State University, San Bernardino7310000
Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis5221100
University of Southern California481392200
New York University11110000
University of New Mexico7111000
Morgan State University18600000
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University3110000
University of Central Florida4111100
University of Arkansas - Little Rock12775400
The Citadel20100000
Regis University2110000
Northeastern University10310000
Harford Community College15322200
Towson State University22444100
Mississippi State University23433100
University of Alabama at Huntsville3111100
Frederick Community College3110000
Bossier Parish Community College6220000
University of Texas at Dallas60551100
Lewis University7210000
West Virginia University24865400
Ohio State University, Columbus35643320
North Carolina State University91191510400
Oregon State University4000000
North Carolina A&T State University26332000
Anne Arundel Community College17211000
Purdue University7413107620
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology1111110
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities9533310
Indiana State University1111110
Capitol Technology University7111100
University of Texas at San Antonio31632200
University of Texas at El Paso361096640
Davidson County Community College3000000
Georgia Institute of Technology14967574939185
University of Chicago8221100
Johns Hopkins University52191810610
Illinois State University1111110
Rochester Institute of Technology25965540
University of Advancing Technology1100000
Cornell University6210000
University of Maryland, College Park241074321
Western Governors University15986400
Liberty University31212012900
Stony Brook University32661100
Rice University3220000
Arcadia University1000000
University of California, San Diego9000000
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign25654100
Daytona State University1000000
Georgia Southern University2000000
Kennesaw State University6222200
University of Cincinnati582419151300
Eastern Michigan University3000000
Auburn University4111000
State University of New York at Albany2111100
Mercy College1000000
Pennsylvania State University87211410810
Oklahoma State University1000000
Our Lady of the Lake University3110000
St. Mary's College of Maryland1000000
DeVry Institute of Technology3000000
University of North Carolina at Charlotte5222200
Stevens Institute of Technology9322100
Palm Beach State College1111110
University of Tulsa10663220
Indiana University Bloomington8111100
State University of New York at Buffalo9210000
University of Kansas2000000
Indiana University12321100
Montgomery College10000000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology11441100
Stratford University9431000
Jacksonville State University1000000
Colorado Mesa University1000000
California State University, Northridge2000000
Kansas State University1000000
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor7210000
Davenport University18987630
University of Texas at Austin411294400
Howard University14000000
University of Massachusetts at Amherst1000000
University of Phoenix4211110
University of Florida54842210
Cleveland State University12544400
Mt. San Antonio College3111100
University of California, Berkeley7110000
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona15221000
University of California, Santa Barbara2111000
Old Dominion University18420000
Howard Community College7110000
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology7221000
Hood College3210000
Florida State University5321100
University of Louisiana at Monroe1000000
University of California, Los Angeles4111100
Mohawk Valley Community College7100000
University of Pennsylvania5000000
Macalester College2000000
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville1100000
The College of New Jersey1000000
Southern New Hampshire University2000000
University of Maine System2100000
University of Houston-Downtown1000000
University of Arizona4000000
North Dakota University System1000000
George Mason University8321000
Citrus College1111000
Texas State Technical College2000000
Inter American University of Puerto Rico1000000
Stanford University3221000
Alamo Colleges7000000
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art3211100
Georgetown University6221000
Brigham Young University3000000
University of California, Irvine1110000
Ferris State University2111100
Iowa State University13443320
Colorado State University - Global Campus2100000
Rutgers University, Newark5221100
University of Washington3000000
Johns Hopkins Medicine1000000
Syracuse University3000000
Augusta University16100000
University of South Florida5222100
University of Kentucky3000000
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill2111110
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico7553200
Montana State University - Bozeman2000000
Morehead State University1000000
Mercer University1110000
Brooklyn Technical High School1000000
Georgia State University2000000
Stetson University1000000
University of Oklahoma5110000
Fort Hays State University6100000
Portland State University2000000
University of Missouri - Kansas City1000000
Rose State College3000000
Columbus State University3211000
Fairleigh Dickinson University3000000
East Carolina University3000000
Capella University4000000
Nova Southeastern University1000000
Sinclair Community College5111100
University of Detroit Mercy3111000
Lake Superior College5000000
Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center1000000
Oklahoma City Community College1000000
Ohio University2000000
Lewis & Clark College3100000
Brown University3000000
Texas A&M University - Kingsville1000000
Norwich University9211100
San Francisco State University1000000
YTI Career Institute4000000
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga2000000
University of Hartford1000000
George Washington University17854300
Southeastern Louisiana University1000000
Marymount University2000000
College of Charleston2000000
Full Sail University1000000
University of Oregon1000000
University of California, Davis5000000
Michigan State University2000000
North American University1000000
University of Memphis181513121040
Lincoln Land Community College1000000
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania4000000
Connecticut State University System1000000
Sonoma State University1000000
University of Idaho2000000
Tulane University2110000
Northern Arizona University4000000
University of Colorado at Boulder9332200
Guilford College3000000
Radford University25741100
Armstrong State College2000000
Arizona State University44242313960
University of the District of Columbia1000000
University of Pittsburgh3000000
Ozarks Technical Community College1000000
Florida International University3000000
University of San Diego2000000
Yale University5111110
Blue Ridge Community College1111110
American Public University System5222210
Coast Colleges1000000
University of Virginia, Charlottesville12333320
Monterey Peninsula College1000000
Midlands Technical College1000000
Susquehanna University1000000
Christopher Newport University2000000
Colorado State University5211100
Wesley College1000000
Missouri State University2000000
Campbell University2000000
Saint John's University (NY)2111100
Alabama A&M University6000000
Southwest Research Institute1000000
Frostburg State University1111000
Tuskegee University2000000
Pensacola Christian College1000000
Collin College1100000
Amrita University1000000
Hinds Community College1000000
Everest College1000000
Indiana Institute of Technology1000000
Villanova University2111000
St. Petersburg College2111100
American University4000000
Columbia University28430000
Polytechnic University of Catalonia3211110
University of Southern Indiana1000000
Governors State University1100000
United States Military Academy281199753
Monmouth University1100000
Missouri University of Science and Technology16431100
University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa3000000
University of Wyoming1000000
City University of New York1000000
Cleveland State Community College1000000
Valencia College1000000
Columbia College1110000
Canisius College1000000
Longwood University1000000
Chaffey College1000000
Roger Williams University1000000
Pitt Community College2110000
Metropolitan State College of Denver1000000
University of Louisiana at Lafayette1000000
Baylor University1000000
Globe University & Minnesota School of Business1000000
Southwestern Illinois College1000000
Lord Fairfax Community College1000000
Fairmont State College1000000
University of Utah1110000
Indiana University at South Bend1000000
Massachusetts Bay Community College2000000
National University of Singapore1111100
Mt. Hood Community College6222200
Johnson County Community College1000000
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh1000000
University of Missouri - Saint Louis2000000
Fayetteville State University1000000
Salt Lake Community College1000000
Washington State University at Tri-Cities2000000
University of Wisconsin - Madison2000000
Drake University1000000
Duquesne University3100000
Colorado Technical University4111100
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute6644320
University of California, Riverside1111100
Coastal Carolina Community College1000000
Stanly Community College2222200
Polytechnic University of New York1111000
New York Institute of Technology1000000
San Jose State University1000000
Colorado Community College System1000000
University of West Florida2111100
Pine Crest School1100000
Lynn University1000000
Wake Forest University4111100
University of Toledo1000000
University of North Georgia5000000
The Principia1000000
Northern Oklahoma College1000000
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology1110000
Paragon Academy1100000
University of Wisconsin - Platteville1000000
Rock Valley College3000000
Monash University1110000
Career College of Northern Nevada1000000
Xian Eurasia University2000000
West Virginia Wesleyan College9221000
Mississippi College1110000
Utica College2100000
State University of New York at Binghamton2000000
College of Southern Maryland1000000
Nashville State Community College1000000
Central New Mexico Community College1000000
Maricopa County Community College District2111100
Santa Clara University1000000
Lakeland Community College1000000
Nevada System of Higher Education1111000
Robert Morris University Illinois1000000
Drexel University1000000
Vance-Granville Community College1000000
Colorado School of Mines1100000
Northwest Florida State College1000000
Mount St. Mary's University1000000
University of Maryland, Baltimore2000000
Community College of Baltimore County2000000
Friends University1000000
Air Force Institute of Technology3111000
Michigan Technological University14554430
Century College1111110
Milwaukee School of Engineering1000000
Contra Costa Community College District1000000
Cedarville College3200000
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee2110000
Lasell College1000000
University of Connecticut1100000
University of Puerto Rico3322200
University of Monterrey1000000
Western Washington University4110000
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana2000000
Saint Cloud State University1110000
Colgate University1000000
Lincoln University9000000
New College of Florida1000000
Pasco-Hernando State College1000000
SANS Technology Institute1110000
University of Dayton1000000
Grand Canyon University1000000
Eastern Illinois University2000000
Albany State University1000000
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory1100000
Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion1000000
Harvard University3000000
Loras College1000000
University of Illinois at Chicago1000000
San Diego Christian College1000000
Oklahoma Christian University1000000
Miami University of Ohio1000000
Danville Area Community College1000000
University of New Orleans1000000
National Park College1000000
Laurus College1000000
Ball State University2111100
State University of New York at Oswego1000000
Fountainhead College of Technology1000000
Rowan College5211100
Umpqua Community College1000000
Allegany College of Maryland1000000
Augsburg College1111110
University of Akron4110000
University of California, Merced1000000
Bowling Green State University1000000
Central Carolina Community College1000000
Truman State University1000000
University of Alaska2000000
Oregon Institute of Technology1111100
Dartmouth College2110000
Lafayette College1000000
Middlebury College1000000
State University of New York College at Cortland2000000
Central Texas College1000000
Williams College1111111
Angelo State University1000000
Northern Essex Community College1000000
Lesley University1111111
Xavier University of Louisiana1000000
SUNY Maritime College1000000
Seton Hall University1000000
New Jersey City University1100000
Wright State University2110000
Lander University1000000
University of the People2111110
Touro College1000000
Washington & Jefferson College1111100
State University of New York Polytechnic Institute1000000
Grand Valley State University1000000
Hawaii Pacific University1110000
Isothermal Community College1000000
University of Maryland Eastern Shore2000000
University of La Verne1000000
University of North Carolina at Asheville1000000
Aims Community College1000000
Sewanee, University of the South1000000
California Institute of Technology2000000
California Southern University1000000
Elon College1111100
Bellevue University3111100
Chicago Public Schools2211100
University of British Columbia1111100
Phillips Academy1000000
Boise State University1000000
Thomas Edison State University2110000
Hennepin Technical College1000000
Barnard College1000000
State University of New York at Farmingdale1000000
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology1111000
Northwestern University1000000
Loyola College1000000
Brigham Young University - Idaho2000000
Louisiana Tech University1000000
Oakland Community College1000000
Blinn College1110000
Loyola University Chicago2000000
University of Miami1000000
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale1110000
St. Johns River State College1000000
Indian River State College1110000
Saint Paul College1000000
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences1000000
Lone Star College2000000
Shenandoah University1000000
Houston Community College1111110
Pacific Lutheran University1000000
Kettering University1100000
Keiser University1000000
Southern Methodist University1000000
Holyoke Community College1100000
Pepperdine University1000000
Quinsigamond Community College1000000
Tulsa Community College1000000
University of North Texas1000000
University of Central Oklahoma2111100
Hallmark University1111000
Zane State College1000000
Abilene Christian University2000000
Fullerton College1000000
University of Georgia1000000
Florida Polytechnic University1000000
Upper Iowa University1000000
University of Baltimore1000000
Wichita State University1000000
York College of Pennsylvania1111100
Tufts University1000000
DePaul University1000000
University of Massachusetts at Lowell1000000
Metropolitan Community College1000000
Palomar College1111000
University of Mississippi Medical Center1000000
Bristol Community College1000000
The Art Institutes1000000
College of DuPage1000000
Maryville University1000000
Fordham University1000000
Brigham Young University - Hawaii1000000
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire1111000
California State University, Fullerton1000000
Texas Christian University1000000
University of New Haven1000000
Marine Biological Laboratory1000000
Lycoming College1000000
Dallas Baptist University1000000
University of Vermont1000000
Southeast Community College1000000
Eastern Kentucky University1000000
Macomb Community College1000000
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi1000000
North Dakota State University1000000
Kaplan University1000000
Western Oklahoma State College1000000
Stevenson University1000000
Goucher College1000000
College of Saint Rose1000000
Oakton Community College1000000
Drew University1000000
Task 6 Solvers

The table below shows the rankings of the individuals that completed all six tasks in the challenge, along with his/her start time, end time, and the time taken. Note, each student's name will not be posted here unless we get his/her permission to do so.

RankNameUniversityStart TimeFinish TimeTime Taken
1 Robert Xiao Carnegie Mellon University 2016-09-09 21:45:35 2016-09-10 15:37:02 0 days, 17 hrs, 51 mins, 27 secs
2 Insu Yun Georgia Institute of Technology 2016-09-09 21:03:22 2016-09-13 00:44:24 3 days, 03 hrs, 41 mins, 2 secs
3 Carnegie Mellon University 2016-09-09 01:36:12 2016-09-13 04:31:29 4 days, 02 hrs, 55 mins, 17 secs
4 Wen Xu Georgia Institute of Technology 2016-09-09 23:26:10 2016-09-19 22:14:29 9 days, 22 hrs, 48 mins, 19 secs
5 Georgia Institute of Technology 2016-09-12 07:50:57 2016-09-20 03:07:17 7 days, 19 hrs, 16 mins, 20 secs
6 Outmane Lemtiri Chlieh Georgia Institute of Technology 2016-09-21 00:03:33 2016-11-01 02:09:17 10 days, 02 hrs, 5 mins, 44 secs
7 Aaron Williams College 2016-11-09 11:12:25 2016-11-12 18:10:41 3 days, 06 hrs, 58 mins, 16 secs
8 University of Maryland, College Park 2016-11-04 21:05:41 2016-11-21 20:03:11 16 days, 22 hrs, 57 mins, 30 secs
9 Scott R. Lesley University 2016-11-09 22:18:15 2016-12-25 22:37:01 16 days, 00 hrs, 18 mins, 46 secs
10 Chris E. Naval Postgraduate School 2016-09-08 11:58:17 2016-12-28 02:16:51 19 days, 14 hrs, 18 mins, 34 secs
11 Chris M. United States Military Academy 2016-09-30 09:47:16 2016-12-28 10:33:50 28 days, 00 hrs, 46 mins, 34 secs
12 Andrew P. United States Military Academy 2016-09-30 10:03:17 2016-12-28 13:37:05 28 days, 03 hrs, 33 mins, 48 secs
13 Ben B. Georgia Institute of Technology 2016-11-15 12:49:59 2016-12-29 17:45:58 14 days, 04 hrs, 55 mins, 59 secs
14 Corwin dB. Carnegie Mellon University 2016-09-09 12:57:22 2016-12-29 23:21:26 20 days, 10 hrs, 24 mins, 4 secs
15 Matt S. United States Military Academy 2016-09-24 08:55:49 2016-12-31 21:15:01 6 days, 12 hrs, 19 mins, 12 secs

As can be seen on the interactive map below, students from across the U.S. participated in the challenge, with all states having at least one participant. Click on the markers within the map to see more information about a given school.

There were several students from universities outside the U.S. that participated in the challenge as well - move the map around to find those too! (Note - participating in the challenge required a valid .edu email address.)

Challenge Backstory

Terrorists have recently developed a new type of remotely controlled Improvised Explosive Device (IED), making it harder for the U.S. Armed Forces to detect and ultimately prevent roadside bomb attacks against troops deployed overseas. The National Security Agency (NSA), in accordance with its support to military operations mission, has been asked to develop capabilities for use against this new threat. This will consist of six tasks of increasing difficulty, with the ultimate goals of being able to disarm the IEDs remotely and permanently render them inoperable without the risk of civilian casualties.

Task 1 Progress

A military organization captured a laptop of a known explosives expert within a terrorist organization. Further analysis revealed that the laptop contained a debug version of the remote client interface that the individual used to communicate with the IEDs. To help detect other client programs in use, we are cataloging binary signatures and basic network signatures for every version of the IED software we find. To support these efforts, your task is to compute the SHA256 hash of the client binary and identify the source and destination TCP ports that it uses when connecting to an IED.


Will be revealed next semester! (The solution submission page is still active to allow students who want to finish the challenge a chance to do so.)

UniversitySolutionsFirst Solution Date
University of Maryland, Baltimore County312016-09-09 21:05:03
University of Hawaii122016-09-10 00:27:42
Texas A&M University - College Station312016-09-09 21:06:43
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University192016-09-10 10:21:01
Champlain College182016-09-09 23:18:11
Baker College12016-09-19 15:42:33
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs142016-09-12 14:31:58
James Madison University52016-09-10 00:37:08
Dakota State University562016-09-09 21:12:59
University of South Alabama12016-09-16 14:21:19
United States Naval Academy22016-09-20 19:32:27
Bowie State University152016-10-15 12:47:33
Florida Atlantic University12016-09-22 18:42:19
Craven Community College12016-09-14 20:44:53
Naval Postgraduate School72016-09-09 21:28:16
East Stroudsburg State University of Pennsylvania32016-09-10 00:49:25
University of Maryland - University College102016-09-09 21:37:48
University of Illinois at Springfield122016-09-10 15:54:08
Tennessee Technological University102016-09-25 18:11:33
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology142016-09-09 22:35:28
Southern Utah University42016-09-10 01:11:35
University of Houston52016-09-09 22:41:22
Carnegie Mellon University282016-09-09 21:18:45
United States Air Force Academy62016-09-19 15:20:01
Virginia Community College System72016-09-20 18:05:10
California State University, San Bernardino32016-09-10 20:54:30
Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis22016-09-10 13:37:11
University of Southern California132016-09-10 01:07:15
New York University12016-09-15 18:41:56
University of New Mexico12016-09-21 04:19:47
Morgan State University62016-09-22 01:39:57
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University12016-09-11 10:50:52
University of Central Florida12016-09-12 18:14:25
University of Arkansas - Little Rock72016-09-10 00:18:42
The Citadel12016-09-13 20:46:28
Regis University12016-09-10 13:24:53
Northeastern University32016-09-09 21:46:14
Harford Community College32016-09-18 17:09:57
Towson State University42016-09-16 12:21:59
Mississippi State University42016-09-10 11:57:38
University of Alabama at Huntsville12016-09-10 00:41:14
Frederick Community College12016-12-09 03:32:54
Bossier Parish Community College22016-10-05 17:00:57
University of Texas at Dallas52016-09-10 03:17:24
Lewis University22016-09-10 00:07:35
West Virginia University82016-09-09 21:11:08
Ohio State University, Columbus62016-09-10 22:24:25
North Carolina State University192016-09-09 21:13:29
North Carolina A&T State University32016-09-12 14:50:23
Anne Arundel Community College22016-09-18 20:17:22
Purdue University132016-09-10 00:08:35
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology12016-09-09 21:07:56
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities52016-09-10 14:58:34
Indiana State University12016-09-09 21:50:37
Capitol Technology University12016-10-13 15:45:00
University of Texas at San Antonio62016-09-09 22:15:56
University of Texas at El Paso102016-09-11 06:31:26
Georgia Institute of Technology672016-09-09 21:07:46
University of Chicago22016-10-31 11:45:44
Johns Hopkins University192016-09-09 21:57:13
Illinois State University12016-09-09 21:48:24
Rochester Institute of Technology92016-09-09 23:39:06
University of Advancing Technology12016-09-11 04:22:27
Cornell University22016-10-03 12:03:43
University of Maryland, College Park102016-09-09 22:14:01
Western Governors University92016-09-10 02:49:16
Liberty University212016-09-09 21:08:25
Stony Brook University62016-09-09 22:06:06
Rice University22016-09-12 19:07:38
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign62016-09-09 22:28:13
Kennesaw State University22016-09-10 00:21:45
University of Cincinnati242016-09-10 03:24:43
Auburn University12016-09-11 14:47:12
State University of New York at Albany12016-09-11 15:26:51
Pennsylvania State University212016-09-10 00:10:27
Our Lady of the Lake University12016-09-13 12:38:17
University of North Carolina at Charlotte22016-09-10 19:13:36
Stevens Institute of Technology32016-09-10 01:05:08
Palm Beach State College12016-09-09 21:37:06
University of Tulsa62016-09-09 21:35:34
Indiana University Bloomington12016-09-20 23:15:03
State University of New York at Buffalo22016-09-10 11:08:15
Indiana University32016-09-10 02:06:03
Massachusetts Institute of Technology42016-09-11 20:35:51
Stratford University42016-09-14 21:50:15
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor22016-09-14 17:59:43
Davenport University92016-09-13 22:30:33
University of Texas at Austin122016-09-09 22:12:41
University of Phoenix22016-09-10 01:23:29
University of Florida82016-09-10 00:41:41
Cleveland State University52016-09-09 21:13:53
Mt. San Antonio College12016-12-13 04:21:10
University of California, Berkeley12016-12-24 20:38:44
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona22016-09-10 15:56:45
University of California, Santa Barbara12016-09-09 22:50:53
Old Dominion University42016-09-12 15:23:32
Howard Community College12016-09-09 21:26:23
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology22016-09-09 23:21:45
Hood College22016-09-10 23:31:43
Florida State University32016-09-09 21:40:32
University of California, Los Angeles12016-09-09 21:23:30
Mohawk Valley Community College12016-09-09 21:20:35
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville12016-09-10 00:36:55
University of Maine System12016-12-22 14:08:30
George Mason University32016-09-12 09:43:27
Citrus College12016-09-10 16:46:40
Stanford University22016-11-22 17:33:28
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art22016-09-10 22:28:54
Georgetown University22016-10-01 11:50:19
University of California, Irvine12016-09-12 01:58:28
Ferris State University12016-10-13 00:49:53
Iowa State University42016-09-12 16:04:09
Colorado State University - Global Campus12016-09-14 22:14:02
Rutgers University, Newark22016-09-15 00:01:53
Augusta University12016-10-03 21:31:13
University of South Florida22016-09-12 15:00:48
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill12016-11-15 23:01:13
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico52016-09-12 15:27:03
Mercer University12016-09-12 18:44:40
University of Oklahoma12016-11-13 23:45:43
Fort Hays State University12016-09-16 03:47:04
Columbus State University22016-09-13 14:15:06
Sinclair Community College12016-09-21 12:04:24
University of Detroit Mercy12016-09-17 15:01:02
Lewis & Clark College12016-09-19 13:02:09
Norwich University22016-09-14 02:18:08
George Washington University82016-10-10 19:47:27
University of Memphis152016-09-15 00:54:33
Tulane University12016-09-15 02:02:47
University of Colorado at Boulder32016-09-21 20:45:34
Radford University72016-09-16 01:07:47
Arizona State University242016-09-29 20:06:01
Yale University12016-09-15 22:32:23
Blue Ridge Community College12016-09-15 23:37:16
American Public University System22016-11-09 00:42:27
University of Virginia, Charlottesville32016-09-17 22:23:43
Colorado State University22016-09-22 16:41:21
Saint John's University (NY)12016-09-20 16:44:32
Frostburg State University12016-09-17 19:23:26
Collin College12016-09-17 01:41:24
Villanova University12016-09-18 18:20:18
St. Petersburg College12016-09-18 13:51:48
Columbia University42016-11-30 15:12:51
Polytechnic University of Catalonia22016-09-18 13:16:44
Governors State University12016-10-17 19:07:44
United States Military Academy112016-09-18 20:56:04
Monmouth University12016-09-19 09:04:07
Missouri University of Science and Technology42016-10-23 19:47:50
Columbia College12016-09-19 14:11:24
Pitt Community College12016-12-17 18:59:01
University of Utah12016-10-11 19:16:54
National University of Singapore12016-09-22 03:34:46
Mt. Hood Community College22016-09-22 23:24:42
Duquesne University12016-10-31 10:43:46
Colorado Technical University12016-12-14 14:39:47
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute62016-09-21 00:20:47
University of California, Riverside12016-09-21 01:14:18
Stanly Community College22016-09-21 08:42:12
Polytechnic University of New York12016-09-21 16:52:24
University of West Florida12016-10-02 14:22:01
Pine Crest School12016-09-21 22:02:34
Wake Forest University12016-09-24 17:52:06
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology12016-09-23 00:28:08
Paragon Academy12016-09-22 19:03:41
Monash University12016-09-22 21:05:44
West Virginia Wesleyan College22016-09-28 11:16:07
Mississippi College12016-09-25 20:57:26
Utica College12016-09-23 12:31:41
Maricopa County Community College District12016-09-23 19:22:43
Nevada System of Higher Education12016-09-29 22:31:11
Colorado School of Mines12016-09-28 10:47:44
Air Force Institute of Technology12016-09-29 20:44:28
Michigan Technological University52016-10-08 23:35:36
Century College12016-09-30 08:23:26
Cedarville College22016-11-23 15:25:47
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee12016-12-29 17:07:28
University of Connecticut12016-10-05 02:08:46
University of Puerto Rico32016-10-05 19:05:55
Western Washington University12016-10-17 17:03:49
Saint Cloud State University12016-10-13 03:08:56
SANS Technology Institute12016-10-19 15:23:50
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory12016-10-24 17:12:46
Ball State University12016-12-20 21:20:44
Rowan College22016-11-07 15:14:36
Augsburg College12016-11-14 23:49:56
University of Akron12016-12-18 18:56:42
Oregon Institute of Technology12016-11-09 15:56:39
Dartmouth College12016-11-09 16:49:26
Williams College12016-11-09 11:27:09
Lesley University12016-11-09 22:20:53
New Jersey City University12016-11-10 23:57:34
Wright State University12016-11-11 09:27:50
University of the People12016-12-19 14:22:58
Washington & Jefferson College12016-11-14 00:00:47
Hawaii Pacific University12016-11-15 01:57:54
Elon College12016-11-21 06:57:15
Bellevue University12016-11-22 15:46:01
Chicago Public Schools22016-12-06 17:26:18
University of British Columbia12016-11-26 15:44:17
Thomas Edison State University12016-11-28 15:28:21
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology12016-12-01 18:06:21
Blinn College12016-12-24 22:03:55
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale12016-12-03 02:29:04
Indian River State College12016-12-04 20:43:39
Houston Community College12016-12-06 14:05:34
Kettering University12016-12-09 19:56:59
Holyoke Community College12016-12-13 17:13:32
University of Central Oklahoma12016-12-14 21:07:05
Hallmark University12016-12-15 00:29:14
York College of Pennsylvania12016-12-17 22:39:16
Palomar College12016-12-23 15:43:39
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire12016-12-21 10:14:20
Task 2 Progress

Based on the signatures you provided, we were able to collect network communications that we believe contains traffic to an IED that is about to be detonated. Unfortunately, there appears to be a lot of unrelated network traffic in the collected data since other programs use the same port. Using the provided packet capture file (PCAP), we need your help to create more specific signatures for identifying network communications with the IED. This would be a huge first step in detecting when an IED has been armed, for example, which would allow us to alert troops in the region around where the signal was collected. For this task, your goals are to identify the version string sent by the client software when initiating a connection to the IED and to determine the IP address of the undetonated IED from the packet capture.

Intelligence suggests that the version strings are 11 characters long and look something like x.x-xxxxxxx


Will be revealed next semester! (The solution submission page is still active to allow students who want to finish the challenge a chance to do so.)

UniversitySolutionsFirst Solution Date
University of Maryland, Baltimore County252016-09-09 21:37:05
University of Hawaii112016-09-10 00:48:04
Texas A&M University - College Station232016-09-09 21:18:37
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University132016-09-10 14:29:06
Champlain College132016-09-14 10:36:46
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs122016-09-12 14:52:23
James Madison University22016-09-12 18:08:07
Dakota State University402016-09-09 21:41:41
United States Naval Academy12016-09-22 21:12:09
Bowie State University142016-10-29 11:36:32
Craven Community College12016-09-15 18:35:35
Naval Postgraduate School72016-09-10 00:14:11
East Stroudsburg State University of Pennsylvania32016-09-10 01:29:29
University of Maryland - University College62016-09-09 21:52:46
University of Illinois at Springfield102016-09-10 22:47:19
Tennessee Technological University92016-09-25 18:40:44
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology142016-10-18 23:09:41
Southern Utah University32016-09-10 01:44:21
University of Houston42016-09-11 15:12:09
Carnegie Mellon University262016-09-09 21:48:21
United States Air Force Academy32016-09-20 17:02:45
Virginia Community College System52016-09-20 18:39:33
California State University, San Bernardino12016-09-26 17:54:05
Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis22016-09-11 07:52:40
University of Southern California92016-09-10 19:15:35
New York University12016-09-16 00:22:49
University of New Mexico12016-09-21 04:43:46
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University12016-09-11 11:12:22
University of Central Florida12016-09-17 20:37:18
University of Arkansas - Little Rock72016-09-11 15:38:58
Regis University12016-09-17 19:52:52
Northeastern University12016-09-09 22:38:00
Harford Community College22016-09-19 11:53:48
Towson State University42016-09-18 13:09:05
Mississippi State University32016-09-10 12:09:30
University of Alabama at Huntsville12016-09-10 13:47:47
Frederick Community College12016-12-12 02:12:59
Bossier Parish Community College22016-10-05 17:43:51
University of Texas at Dallas52016-09-10 05:23:22
Lewis University12016-09-20 17:45:45
West Virginia University62016-09-13 19:15:17
Ohio State University, Columbus42016-09-10 22:27:36
North Carolina State University152016-09-09 21:55:43
North Carolina A&T State University32016-09-13 02:15:43
Anne Arundel Community College12016-10-07 14:33:03
Purdue University102016-09-10 01:37:19
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology12016-09-09 23:42:52
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities32016-09-13 17:19:46
Indiana State University12016-09-10 00:00:38
Capitol Technology University12016-10-13 20:47:45
University of Texas at San Antonio32016-09-10 00:08:09
University of Texas at El Paso92016-09-12 00:24:02
Georgia Institute of Technology572016-09-09 21:54:47
University of Chicago22016-10-31 12:57:23
Johns Hopkins University182016-09-09 23:59:01
Illinois State University12016-09-09 22:06:01
Rochester Institute of Technology62016-09-10 17:52:31
Cornell University12016-10-16 23:59:16
University of Maryland, College Park72016-09-09 22:28:45
Western Governors University82016-09-10 03:04:53
Liberty University202016-09-09 21:33:02
Stony Brook University62016-09-10 00:07:29
Rice University22016-09-14 19:53:14
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign52016-09-09 23:04:50
Kennesaw State University22016-09-15 13:33:05
University of Cincinnati192016-09-10 09:03:18
Auburn University12016-09-11 14:57:10
State University of New York at Albany12016-09-12 08:32:33
Pennsylvania State University142016-09-10 00:21:44
Our Lady of the Lake University12016-09-19 12:05:48
University of North Carolina at Charlotte22016-09-12 00:06:39
Stevens Institute of Technology22016-09-10 01:49:15
Palm Beach State College12016-09-10 21:31:51
University of Tulsa62016-09-09 22:25:57
Indiana University Bloomington12016-09-20 23:47:00
State University of New York at Buffalo12016-09-12 22:24:13
Indiana University22016-09-10 04:08:27
Massachusetts Institute of Technology42016-09-11 20:50:55
Stratford University32016-09-23 21:02:08
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor12016-12-30 15:57:04
Davenport University82016-09-15 04:00:23
University of Texas at Austin92016-09-09 23:41:03
University of Phoenix12016-09-10 01:42:00
University of Florida42016-09-27 18:14:23
Cleveland State University42016-09-09 22:09:29
Mt. San Antonio College12016-12-13 04:30:59
University of California, Berkeley12016-12-24 21:19:56
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona22016-09-10 21:10:28
University of California, Santa Barbara12016-09-09 22:58:51
Old Dominion University22016-12-02 07:42:19
Howard Community College12016-09-12 20:43:14
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology22016-09-20 15:02:26
Hood College12016-12-27 15:36:20
Florida State University22016-09-09 21:50:45
University of California, Los Angeles12016-09-09 21:52:02
George Mason University22016-09-12 19:40:41
Citrus College12016-09-10 18:15:56
Stanford University22016-11-22 17:48:26
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art12016-09-10 23:41:37
Georgetown University22016-10-01 11:58:25
University of California, Irvine12016-09-12 02:36:42
Ferris State University12016-10-13 04:07:59
Iowa State University42016-09-12 16:54:06
Rutgers University, Newark22016-09-24 20:48:19
University of South Florida22016-09-12 15:15:50
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill12016-11-26 00:34:15
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico52016-10-03 15:22:13
Mercer University12016-12-24 16:04:34
University of Oklahoma12016-11-14 01:05:23
Columbus State University12016-09-14 09:45:19
Sinclair Community College12016-09-21 18:37:52
University of Detroit Mercy12016-09-19 10:00:12
Norwich University12016-11-29 14:42:38
George Washington University52016-11-21 04:54:19
University of Memphis132016-09-15 23:20:20
Tulane University12016-09-15 22:10:06
University of Colorado at Boulder32016-09-21 21:43:07
Radford University42016-09-16 01:28:49
Arizona State University232016-09-29 20:35:44
Yale University12016-09-15 22:59:41
Blue Ridge Community College12016-09-16 03:10:17
American Public University System22016-11-09 00:57:02
University of Virginia, Charlottesville32016-09-17 22:54:58
Colorado State University12016-09-22 18:29:22
Saint John's University (NY)12016-09-20 18:32:00
Frostburg State University12016-09-17 20:13:59
Villanova University12016-09-19 18:52:13
St. Petersburg College12016-09-18 17:49:55
Columbia University32016-11-30 18:55:31
Polytechnic University of Catalonia12016-09-24 15:19:12
United States Military Academy92016-09-18 21:11:46
Missouri University of Science and Technology32016-10-23 19:59:09
Columbia College12016-09-19 14:35:28
Pitt Community College12016-12-17 19:50:38
University of Utah12016-10-11 20:06:42
National University of Singapore12016-09-22 22:19:45
Mt. Hood Community College22016-09-22 23:45:18
Colorado Technical University12016-12-15 16:53:00
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute42016-09-21 00:29:27
University of California, Riverside12016-09-21 12:45:26
Stanly Community College22016-09-27 04:14:03
Polytechnic University of New York12016-09-21 17:47:00
University of West Florida12016-10-02 16:15:22
Wake Forest University12016-09-25 10:57:45
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology12016-09-23 01:38:08
Monash University12016-09-22 21:25:10
West Virginia Wesleyan College22016-10-06 20:57:16
Mississippi College12016-09-26 12:44:06
Maricopa County Community College District12016-09-23 20:43:03
Nevada System of Higher Education12016-10-04 22:25:26
Air Force Institute of Technology12016-09-29 22:16:37
Michigan Technological University52016-10-09 00:01:54
Century College12016-09-30 22:17:21
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee12016-12-30 08:52:37
University of Puerto Rico22016-12-13 16:43:45
Western Washington University12016-11-15 03:14:56
Saint Cloud State University12016-10-13 04:52:32
SANS Technology Institute12016-10-19 17:27:55
Ball State University12016-12-20 23:09:56
Rowan College12016-11-07 20:45:00
Augsburg College12016-11-15 00:31:48
University of Akron12016-12-18 19:23:36
Oregon Institute of Technology12016-11-09 16:52:17
Dartmouth College12016-11-21 11:52:14
Williams College12016-11-09 11:57:26
Lesley University12016-11-09 22:41:23
Wright State University12016-11-11 09:35:46
University of the People12016-12-19 16:08:11
Washington & Jefferson College12016-11-14 15:40:49
Hawaii Pacific University12016-11-15 03:52:33
Elon College12016-11-21 07:01:53
Bellevue University12016-11-22 15:58:10
Chicago Public Schools12016-12-06 20:45:30
University of British Columbia12016-12-01 02:54:39
Thomas Edison State University12016-11-28 15:46:47
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology12016-12-01 18:10:27
Blinn College12016-12-26 02:53:42
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale12016-12-03 03:13:40
Indian River State College12016-12-11 12:28:14
Houston Community College12016-12-06 14:24:19
University of Central Oklahoma12016-12-14 21:24:36
Hallmark University12016-12-15 00:55:09
York College of Pennsylvania12016-12-18 12:10:04
Palomar College12016-12-23 22:19:57
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire12016-12-21 12:21:07
Task 3 Progress

Thanks to your hard work we were able to eventually geolocate the device and work with military partners to retrieve the system for further analysis. It turned out to be a test system that one of the IED developers had been using in lieu of a live device. We provided the system to a team of software reverse engineers and their preliminary assessment is that we have a fully functional copy of the IED software, a key file, and a dummy driver that emulates the various IED states. Analysts believe that this key file contains the information needed to authenticate to a real IED (somewhere in the field) and send commands to it. Presumably this test system was used to validate the software and key file before it was deployed to an actual IED. Since the key file appears to be encrypted, we are going to need your help to figure out a way to decrypt it. This should enable us to disarm the fielded IED that uses this key, though we will still need to figure out exactly how it is being used for authentication (next task). The goal of this task is for you to obtain the decrypted contents of the key file.


Will be revealed next semester! (The solution submission page is still active to allow students who want to finish the challenge a chance to do so.)

UniversitySolutionsFirst Solution Date
University of Maryland, Baltimore County172016-09-09 21:55:57
University of Hawaii92016-09-10 02:38:41
Texas A&M University - College Station92016-09-09 21:28:35
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University82016-09-10 14:42:47
Champlain College52016-09-14 11:06:30
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs102016-09-12 16:25:55
James Madison University12016-11-21 16:06:20
Dakota State University262016-09-09 22:20:20
Naval Postgraduate School62016-09-10 15:05:32
East Stroudsburg State University of Pennsylvania22016-09-10 02:37:37
University of Maryland - University College52016-09-09 22:16:22
University of Illinois at Springfield92016-09-11 16:13:55
Tennessee Technological University82016-09-25 20:13:15
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology132016-10-18 23:49:54
Southern Utah University32016-09-15 14:23:12
University of Houston22016-09-11 17:46:19
Carnegie Mellon University162016-09-09 22:06:00
United States Air Force Academy12016-09-20 18:24:49
Virginia Community College System22016-09-23 12:41:45
Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis12016-09-14 17:15:23
University of Southern California22016-09-10 22:34:37
University of New Mexico12016-09-26 01:28:21
University of Central Florida12016-09-17 21:16:16
University of Arkansas - Little Rock52016-09-11 20:24:50
Harford Community College22016-09-22 03:08:38
Towson State University42016-09-18 16:32:45
Mississippi State University32016-09-10 12:54:48
University of Alabama at Huntsville12016-09-18 20:07:45
University of Texas at Dallas12016-09-11 01:08:07
West Virginia University52016-09-13 20:54:15
Ohio State University, Columbus32016-09-10 22:30:42
North Carolina State University102016-09-09 23:53:32
North Carolina A&T State University22016-09-14 23:22:41
Anne Arundel Community College12016-11-04 09:57:49
Purdue University72016-09-10 02:42:17
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology12016-09-10 00:23:57
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities32016-09-14 12:50:03
Indiana State University12016-09-10 03:05:58
Capitol Technology University12016-10-14 13:51:38
University of Texas at San Antonio22016-09-10 02:00:44
University of Texas at El Paso62016-09-25 22:31:47
Georgia Institute of Technology492016-09-09 22:05:42
University of Chicago12016-11-01 09:45:24
Johns Hopkins University102016-09-10 16:18:14
Illinois State University12016-09-10 01:12:00
Rochester Institute of Technology52016-09-10 18:17:04
University of Maryland, College Park42016-09-10 01:33:42
Western Governors University62016-09-10 04:29:39
Liberty University122016-09-09 23:54:24
Stony Brook University12016-09-10 22:55:36
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign42016-09-09 23:31:30
Kennesaw State University22016-09-15 18:35:38
University of Cincinnati152016-09-10 13:30:52
Auburn University12016-09-11 15:25:07
State University of New York at Albany12016-09-12 11:59:47
Pennsylvania State University102016-09-10 01:38:48
University of North Carolina at Charlotte22016-09-12 01:29:23
Stevens Institute of Technology22016-09-11 00:41:53
Palm Beach State College12016-09-12 10:02:40
University of Tulsa32016-09-09 23:18:45
Indiana University Bloomington12016-09-22 21:10:04
Indiana University12016-09-10 12:22:25
Massachusetts Institute of Technology12016-09-12 20:05:50
Stratford University12016-12-09 17:14:04
Davenport University72016-09-15 05:20:49
University of Texas at Austin42016-09-10 00:30:33
University of Phoenix12016-09-10 02:06:27
University of Florida22016-10-01 13:29:35
Cleveland State University42016-09-09 23:10:54
Mt. San Antonio College12016-12-13 04:56:49
California Polytechnic State University, Pomona12016-09-30 20:15:03
University of California, Santa Barbara12016-09-09 23:18:44
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology12016-09-23 14:12:19
Florida State University12016-09-09 22:52:15
University of California, Los Angeles12016-09-09 22:29:04
George Mason University12016-11-12 20:40:42
Citrus College12016-09-18 22:02:25
Stanford University12016-12-19 11:23:24
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art12016-09-10 23:50:45
Georgetown University12016-10-05 02:06:44
Ferris State University12016-10-21 12:25:36
Iowa State University32016-09-13 12:40:59
Rutgers University, Newark12016-10-31 12:53:46
University of South Florida22016-09-12 15:29:37
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill12016-11-26 13:39:50
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico32016-10-08 14:40:20
Columbus State University12016-10-13 21:10:36
Sinclair Community College12016-09-26 11:58:30
University of Detroit Mercy12016-09-20 16:37:07
Norwich University12016-12-08 15:08:48
George Washington University42016-11-21 13:07:32
University of Memphis122016-09-19 21:33:02
University of Colorado at Boulder22016-09-22 19:13:03
Radford University12016-09-16 20:19:00
Arizona State University132016-10-06 19:56:52
Yale University12016-09-15 23:31:22
Blue Ridge Community College12016-09-16 22:27:53
American Public University System22016-11-09 01:14:50
University of Virginia, Charlottesville32016-09-20 12:00:18
Colorado State University12016-09-22 18:44:51
Saint John's University (NY)12016-09-24 20:46:53
Frostburg State University12016-09-24 03:11:13
Villanova University12016-09-22 23:15:55
St. Petersburg College12016-12-03 16:11:36
Polytechnic University of Catalonia12016-09-24 16:51:23
United States Military Academy92016-09-20 06:32:57
Missouri University of Science and Technology12016-10-23 20:38:06
National University of Singapore12016-09-22 23:19:23
Mt. Hood Community College22016-09-23 01:57:30
Colorado Technical University12016-12-22 21:52:18
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute42016-09-21 00:47:39
University of California, Riverside12016-09-24 04:19:55
Stanly Community College22016-09-27 18:20:02
Polytechnic University of New York12016-09-26 22:29:25
University of West Florida12016-10-03 00:53:00
Wake Forest University12016-11-06 19:36:46
West Virginia Wesleyan College12016-10-15 20:51:09
Maricopa County Community College District12016-09-23 22:18:17
Nevada System of Higher Education12016-10-27 00:42:15
Air Force Institute of Technology12016-09-29 23:21:18
Michigan Technological University42016-10-29 12:54:02
Century College12016-10-14 10:02:58
University of Puerto Rico22016-12-13 18:04:10
Ball State University12016-12-20 23:28:48
Rowan College12016-11-08 07:57:10
Augsburg College12016-11-15 02:12:14
Oregon Institute of Technology12016-11-10 18:02:52
Williams College12016-11-09 12:32:35
Lesley University12016-11-09 22:50:26
University of the People12016-12-19 16:40:06
Washington & Jefferson College12016-11-14 19:36:50
Elon College12016-11-21 14:37:12
Bellevue University12016-11-22 17:54:57
Chicago Public Schools12016-12-06 22:27:39
University of British Columbia12016-12-09 07:08:53
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology12016-12-01 18:48:05
Houston Community College12016-12-06 15:05:55
University of Central Oklahoma12016-12-15 00:26:08
Hallmark University12016-12-21 12:08:02
York College of Pennsylvania12016-12-18 15:52:09
Palomar College12016-12-25 21:13:48
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire12016-12-29 20:50:39
Task 4 Progress

Now that we have the key file we can work on a disarm capability. Several intelligence reports suggest that terrorists use a secure token (i.e., small hardware device) for generating unique one-time codes for authenticating to the IED when sending commands. We believe these codes change over time and are only valid for a certain time window and for specific device serial numbers. Based on previous signatures you provided, we have located the armed IED that is using the same version of software and key serial number from Task 3 and we need to disarm it ASAP. We do not have the secure token that corresponds to the device, but we still need to be able to authenticate to it with the correct code in order to disarm it. Your objective for this task is to figure out how to generate valid one-time codes and provide one that we can use to disarm the IED. The decrypted key file you provided earlier should help with this part.


Will be revealed next semester! (The solution submission page is still active to allow students who want to finish the challenge a chance to do so.)

UniversitySolutionsFirst Solution Date
University of Maryland, Baltimore County152016-09-10 23:00:20
University of Hawaii92016-09-10 23:16:34
Texas A&M University - College Station82016-09-10 23:08:14
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University82016-09-10 23:07:07
Champlain College52016-09-14 11:09:34
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs92016-09-12 16:50:24
Dakota State University202016-09-10 23:05:20
Naval Postgraduate School62016-09-10 23:22:15
University of Maryland - University College42016-09-11 16:47:25
University of Illinois at Springfield72016-09-12 21:34:41
Tennessee Technological University12016-12-18 23:50:34
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology122016-10-19 22:23:02
Southern Utah University22016-09-15 15:07:31
University of Houston22016-09-15 00:24:27
Carnegie Mellon University112016-09-10 22:59:45
Virginia Community College System12016-09-23 12:44:51
Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis12016-09-14 17:38:36
University of Southern California22016-09-10 23:10:33
University of Central Florida12016-09-17 22:34:44
University of Arkansas - Little Rock42016-09-11 20:39:05
Harford Community College22016-10-02 16:49:27
Towson State University12016-09-30 14:53:29
Mississippi State University12016-09-16 20:15:58
University of Alabama at Huntsville12016-09-18 20:35:19
University of Texas at Dallas12016-09-11 03:35:06
West Virginia University42016-09-13 21:06:37
Ohio State University, Columbus32016-09-10 23:52:35
North Carolina State University42016-09-10 23:01:49
Purdue University62016-09-11 01:21:28
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology12016-09-10 23:02:29
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities32016-09-16 01:44:14
Indiana State University12016-09-10 23:03:42
Capitol Technology University12016-10-24 12:44:50
University of Texas at San Antonio22016-09-17 10:17:49
University of Texas at El Paso62016-10-14 01:28:39
Georgia Institute of Technology392016-09-10 23:50:17
University of Chicago12016-11-01 16:40:17
Johns Hopkins University62016-09-12 05:36:17
Illinois State University12016-09-14 04:21:00
Rochester Institute of Technology52016-09-11 07:51:44
University of Maryland, College Park32016-09-11 00:11:53
Western Governors University42016-09-10 23:18:42
Liberty University92016-09-10 23:05:52
Stony Brook University12016-09-11 02:11:45
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign12016-09-10 23:16:20
Kennesaw State University22016-09-15 18:37:49
University of Cincinnati132016-09-12 10:34:09
State University of New York at Albany12016-09-12 14:20:30
Pennsylvania State University82016-09-11 12:22:15
University of North Carolina at Charlotte22016-09-22 14:03:35
Stevens Institute of Technology12016-09-11 00:49:15
Palm Beach State College12016-09-12 10:14:56
University of Tulsa22016-09-11 00:04:25
Indiana University Bloomington12016-09-23 10:33:45
Indiana University12016-09-10 23:12:03
Massachusetts Institute of Technology12016-09-16 02:15:07
Davenport University62016-09-15 22:45:21
University of Texas at Austin42016-09-10 23:31:56
University of Phoenix12016-09-19 15:34:09
University of Florida22016-10-02 00:39:48
Cleveland State University42016-09-10 23:03:23
Mt. San Antonio College12016-12-13 05:24:51
Florida State University12016-09-13 14:02:56
University of California, Los Angeles12016-09-11 04:44:15
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art12016-09-11 00:12:22
Ferris State University12016-10-21 13:50:54
Iowa State University32016-09-13 13:50:21
Rutgers University, Newark12016-11-01 16:40:06
University of South Florida12016-09-24 16:19:57
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill12016-11-26 15:08:16
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico22016-10-11 14:12:15
Sinclair Community College12016-09-27 08:34:58
Norwich University12016-12-08 15:10:36
George Washington University32016-12-16 01:02:11
University of Memphis102016-09-20 17:49:17
University of Colorado at Boulder22016-09-27 22:32:23
Radford University12016-09-16 20:27:27
Arizona State University92016-10-08 16:39:15
Yale University12016-09-15 23:40:29
Blue Ridge Community College12016-09-17 19:29:06
American Public University System22016-11-09 01:44:42
University of Virginia, Charlottesville32016-09-20 12:06:28
Colorado State University12016-09-22 22:23:00
Saint John's University (NY)12016-09-24 21:31:58
St. Petersburg College12016-12-04 11:16:24
Polytechnic University of Catalonia12016-09-24 17:03:37
United States Military Academy72016-09-20 11:27:52
Missouri University of Science and Technology12016-10-23 21:04:58
National University of Singapore12016-09-27 23:52:52
Mt. Hood Community College22016-09-23 03:55:09
Colorado Technical University12016-12-22 23:04:20
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute32016-09-21 02:59:22
University of California, Riverside12016-09-24 06:05:07
Stanly Community College22016-11-15 14:52:27
University of West Florida12016-10-03 23:18:33
Wake Forest University12016-11-10 12:44:29
Maricopa County Community College District12016-09-23 22:33:12
Michigan Technological University42016-10-29 13:37:51
Century College12016-10-14 14:59:19
University of Puerto Rico22016-12-13 22:45:25
Ball State University12016-12-22 00:25:23
Rowan College12016-11-08 10:03:52
Augsburg College12016-11-15 09:16:13
Oregon Institute of Technology12016-11-10 19:15:03
Williams College12016-11-09 18:59:05
Lesley University12016-11-09 23:05:51
University of the People12016-12-19 17:22:29
Washington & Jefferson College12016-11-15 10:11:00
Elon College12016-11-21 14:45:14
Bellevue University12016-11-22 19:25:06
Chicago Public Schools12016-12-07 12:07:38
University of British Columbia12016-12-23 04:48:28
Houston Community College12016-12-08 17:09:38
University of Central Oklahoma12016-12-22 22:43:30
York College of Pennsylvania12016-12-18 15:54:26
Task 5 Progress

We used the code you provided to remotely disarm the IED, which was later found along a route frequented by military transport vehicles. These actions undoubtedly saved the lives of many service members. After disarming the IED, forward-deployed forensic analysts were able to recover several deleted files from the device. The most promising one appears to be the key generator program used to produce device specific keys like the one you recovered in Task 3 and used to generate a one-time code for the IED disarm command in Task 4. If you can find a weakness in how these keys are generated, then we could exploit this to generate valid one-time codes for any IED and remotely disarm it.

Analysts just alerted us of 2 additional IEDs within a few miles radius of military forces. The serial numbers are provided below. We need you to provide valid one-time codes for each one ASAP so we can disarm the devices. Also, recent intelligence suggests that the terrorists are using Linux to generate the keys.


Will be revealed next semester! (The solution submission page is still active to allow students who want to finish the challenge a chance to do so.)

UniversitySolutionsFirst Solution Date
University of Maryland, Baltimore County32016-09-11 13:49:47
University of Hawaii42016-09-17 18:40:47
Texas A&M University - College Station12016-10-06 17:26:46
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University12016-11-18 01:46:11
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs32016-09-20 06:57:35
Dakota State University82016-09-10 23:05:47
Naval Postgraduate School52016-09-15 12:30:50
University of Maryland - University College12016-09-11 16:49:48
New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology72016-10-20 04:46:02
Carnegie Mellon University62016-09-10 22:59:55
Ohio State University, Columbus22016-10-28 03:57:27
Purdue University22016-09-13 16:23:35
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology12016-09-14 06:57:03
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities12016-09-27 23:06:39
Indiana State University12016-09-22 02:12:45
University of Texas at El Paso42016-11-14 15:39:31
Georgia Institute of Technology182016-09-10 23:56:29
Johns Hopkins University12016-10-07 14:21:46
Illinois State University12016-09-19 21:09:24
Rochester Institute of Technology42016-09-27 01:00:44
University of Maryland, College Park22016-09-15 02:05:14
Pennsylvania State University12016-11-22 16:17:42
Palm Beach State College12016-09-13 17:03:47
University of Tulsa22016-09-11 00:08:08
Davenport University32016-10-03 04:22:02
University of Phoenix12016-09-27 20:00:40
University of Florida12016-11-16 03:19:22
Iowa State University22016-09-16 18:17:54
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill12016-12-31 11:33:48
University of Memphis42016-12-10 06:59:33
Arizona State University62016-10-15 22:39:32
Yale University12016-09-20 19:49:11
Blue Ridge Community College12016-09-30 11:12:28
American Public University System12016-12-12 20:37:13
University of Virginia, Charlottesville22016-12-07 00:26:11
Polytechnic University of Catalonia12017-01-01 05:42:23
United States Military Academy52016-09-29 02:52:57
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute22016-09-21 17:44:40
Michigan Technological University32016-11-28 21:17:04
Century College12016-10-19 11:26:25
Augsburg College12016-12-26 01:16:51
Williams College12016-11-09 22:32:39
Lesley University12016-11-15 00:46:12
University of the People12016-12-21 07:35:02
Houston Community College12016-12-23 01:56:58
Task 6 Progress

Our military partners report that the two IEDs were successfully disarmed, again saving countless lives. Also, thanks to the capability you developed, we can now remotely disarm any IED we find in the field, which is going to make travel through dangerous regions much safer. Agency leadership is very impressed!

Ideally we would like to go one step further and remotely render the IEDs completely inoperable. Given that we may not be able to find and recover disarmed IEDs before the terrorists reclaim them, it would be much better if we could ensure that the IEDs never work again (without actually triggering an explosion and potentially causing civilian causalities.) To that end, we had our hardware reverse engineers study the hardware of a captured IED and develop a hardware simulator to accurately model its operations. This enables more analysts across the enterprise to test and evaluate the system without requiring access to one of the very few captured devices. During development of the hardware simulator, they discovered that if we can somehow cause the hardware to be triggered without being armed then it will “brick” the hardware. This may be our best shot at having a remote disabling capability if we can find a vulnerability to exploit the trigger-before-arm weakness.

From the captured IED we also recovered the hardware driver that contains all the logic for arming/disarming/triggering the actual IED hardware (i.e., unlike the dummy driver that had these functioned stubbed out.) Using this driver with the hardware simulator and IED software provides the most accurate model of the IED hardware and software stack available. The driver appears to contain additional protections that might make analyzing it more difficult, so be on the lookout for code that might be trying to detect dynamic analysis tools.

Your final task is to figure out a way to cause the trigger-before-arm condition and break the hardware. Submit a command file that accomplishes this objective. If you think that you are making progress on this task and would like some limited feedback, feel free to submit the command file you have at any time.


Will be revealed next semester! (The solution submission page is still active to allow students who want to finish the challenge a chance to do so.)

UniversitySolutionsFirst Solution Date
Naval Postgraduate School12016-12-28 02:16:51
Carnegie Mellon University32016-09-10 15:37:02
Georgia Institute of Technology52016-09-13 00:44:24
University of Maryland, College Park12016-11-21 20:03:11
United States Military Academy32016-12-28 10:33:50
Williams College12016-11-12 18:10:41
Lesley University12016-12-25 22:37:01