Hacking contest promotes security

Thanks to DJ^TuRKiYe for posting this... The U.S. government continues to talk tough on computer crime, but here in the desert, hackers--including some from federal agencies--are learning about defending networks by breaking into computers.

The exercise is part of a Capture the Flag-like game that's known as Root Fu. The annual contest pits eight teams at the DefCon conference against each other in a test of network defense and hacking skills. Each team has to defend their own server and applications while trying to break into the servers of the seven other teams.

"This sort of adversarial testing shows what is possible--and not--with security," said Crispin Cowan, chief scientist at Linux security seller Immunix and the leader of the Immunix team. "We value this competition, because we think it is a better evaluation of security than common criteria."

"The reality is that you may have hostility at a high level, but the people who know their stuff decided to come," said Adam Shostack, chief technology officer for security start-up Informed Security.

Each team had to run five Web services on a variant of Unix known as BSD. The services consisted of the music streaming application IceCast, a Web news portal based on Slashcode, two ads, and a multiuser text-based role-playing game known as FurryMuck. Each team accumulated points for having the applications available. The longer a service was up, the more points its supervising team won. However, each team lost points if a service it was running became compromised.

View: C|Net News

News source: Neowin BPN

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