25C3 International Capture The Flag

Capture the Flag (CTF) is a long running tradition at hacker conventions. It pits teams of security researchers against each other on the same network. Every team gets an identical virtual machine image. The VM has a set of custom written services that are known to be vulnerable. The teams work to secure their image while simultaneously exploiting services on the machines of other teams. A scoring server monitors the match as it progresses and awards points to teams for keeping their services up and also for stealing data from their competitors.

The Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin December 27-30, 2008 will host a CTF competition. Most CTF matches are done head to head in the same room. While 25C3 will have local teams, it will also be wide open for international teams to compete remotely. Remote teams will host their own images on a VPN with the other competitors. Now is a good time to register and familiarize yourself with the scoring system. It will certainly be interesting to see how this competition plays out now that teams that can’t make the trip can still compete.

Getting Around The Great Firewall Of China

[Zach Honig] is a photographer in Beijing covering the Olympics. In light of recent allegations of the Chinese government installing monitoring software and hardware in foreign-owned hotels, the necessity of protecting one’s information has become vital and urgent, especially for journalists and photographers. [Honig] provides some suggestions for circumventing the infamous Great Firewall of China; surfing the internet through a secure VPN connection and using a proxy such as PHProxy will allow users to visit websites that have been banned within China. Such simple tricks could mean the difference between not being able to find necessary information, and the ability to surf the internet freely and openly.

[via Digg]