Facebook Open-Sources Its Capture the Flag Competition Platform
In a bid to improve the state of security education, Facebook on May 11 open-sourced its Capture the Flag platform.
Among the most popular forms of security contests today is one known as a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition. In a typical CTF event, teams compete against each other in a bid to be the first to achieve a certain digital objective, which could be data exfiltration, credential retrieval or some other form of security milestone.
Facebook has been running college CTF competitions since 2013 and has expanded the effort over the years to include a diverse set of groups, including high schools in Spain, the Girl Scouts of America and the University of Cambridge. Now instead of just running CTF events, Facebook is making the platform it uses broadly available as an open-source project that anyone can use for free.
"We're open-sourcing it now in response to the high volume of requests from conferences around the world to run our CTF at their events," Javier Marcos, a Facebook security engineer, told eWEEK.
Security gamification technology has already been used for hundreds of contests, helping to improve the state of security education.
The Facebook CTF is being open-sourced under a BSD license with an additional patent grant, Marcos said. The CTF platform makes use of several technologies that Facebook has developed over multiple years. Facebook CTF uses the Hack programming language that works with Facebook's HHVM (Hip Hop Virtual Machine), he added.