Feedback on participation as a judge in a TraceLabs CTF

On the 7th August, a new CTF (Capture The Flag) was held, offered by the Canadian organization TraceLabs. TraceLabs is a non-profit association organizing sessions to find missing persons around the world.

During these sessions, nearly 100 to 200 teams of four people compete in real cases of disappearance to find relevant and useful information on these disappeared.

Eric RUFFIE, founder and manager of the company, participated for the seventh time in this CTF. Particularly, this participation was not as a competitor but as a judge.

It was therefore a question of validating or rejecting the information (flags) submitted by the teams for which each judge was responsible.

This is a unique opportunity to see "behind the scenes", the very hard work done by the judges for the management of the different teams, the understanding of the different leads followed but also the ways of submitting information.

The judge must help "his" teams to submit the information they find in the best possible way. This role is not only to reject flags and sanction, far from it. However, some teams try to bend some rules, it is up to the judge to discuss with them to prevent this from happening again.

It is also necessary to underline the very hard work carried out by the TraceLabs teams, both for the identification of cases to be included in the CTFs as well as for the preparation of the competition and the management of the different platforms used.

A big thank you to them for their availability alongside the judges and participants, and this throughout the CTF.

As has been mentioned, TraceLabs is a Canadian organization and the vast majority of disappearance cases submitted to CTF participants therefore concern American citizens.

We can only hope that a day will come when a CTF will be organized in France on cases of disappearance affecting citizens of this country, of course in agreement and with the green light from the police or gendarmerie in charge of the 'investigation.