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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Big Shot — Hacking People at PHDays

This year PHDays 2012 has carried on the tradition of organizing intellectual competitions. The forum's guests saw a highly competitive program — PHDays CTF, Online HackQuest, HashRunner, $natch, and a lot of other contests, in which hackers could demonstrate their skills in hacking and protecting different systems.

However, there is no doubt that the Big Shot contest, in the course of which the participants needed to show their skills in social engineering, was one of the most interesting, peculiar, and funny competitions.

Each participant was provided with a person's photo not clear for unambiguous identification and a number of statements characterizing that person. These people were present at the forum, and the participants were to identify them and make certain actions according to the task (for example, to get the person's business card or to take a joint photo).

The competition lasted through the forum days, and the results were summed up on the second day. The winner was a participant who coped with the largest number of tasks for the shortest period of time.
When the competition began, positive young people started chasing around the Digital October halls and asking everyone, who measured up to the description, to perform this or that action.

Sometimes it was rather easy to identify the target (this happened with Sergey Gordeychik, the Chief Technical Officer of Positive Technologies).


In other cases the participants had to use deduction to carry out the task.


A dozen and a half of bold spirits took part in the competition. They had to bring into play all their charm and advanced NLP skills to learn intimate details of the lives of the people sought for (for instance, which SSH client the person uses or his or her birthday) or to make something crazy according to the task (for example, to attach a sticker to the “victim's” back).

All the competition participants received gifts and positive emotions, and we are already thinking how to make this contest even more interesting next year.

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