Hackers Challenge Contest

Brought to you by: Zevlag

The Hackers Challenge contest is an event held annually during the SAINTCON conference to challenge your skills as a security professional by presenting players with technology, logical, and security related puzzles and challenges.

Roughly defined, the Hackers Challenge contest is a Jeopardy-like progressive game where players are presented with puzzles that require various security and technical skills to solve. Attendees work on these challenges and submit keys collected from solving them in order to earn points. The person with the highest score at the end of the contest wins.



The rules for the Hackers Challenge are loosely defined, but strictly include the following:

  • Play the game ethically
    Which means that you should not take any unfair advantage of other players
  • Do NOT share captured flags
    You lose scoring advantages anyway so why would you?
  • TEAMWORK is allowed and even encouraged
    However there can only be one “Winner” of the game. Choose your friends wisely.
  • Do NOT brute force the scoring server
    None of the challenges have a brute-force component. Brute-Forcers get banned from the game.

Do NOT steal flags from other players
But Social Engineering is fine.

Registration Details

Registration for Hackers Challenge is NOW open. Register at:


You must use the same email address that you registered for SAINTCON with. If you are having problems with this please ask for help in the #hackers-challenge channel on SAINTCON discord.

Contest Start: Tuesday after keynotes AND lunch.  1:00 PM – Mountain Time

Contest Finish: Friday, 10:00 AM – Mountain Time


The Hackers Challenge Game is eligible for a “Black Badge” award to the top finisher.  Learn more about the Black Badge.

Game Support and Questions

All game support and questions are handled via Discord

Precon Challenge #1

Decode the messages in the attached images and email me at precon [ a t ] UtahSAINT.org.   Your subject should be the misspelt word.   Include an interesting message for me.

The image showing now is v2, with a revised inner circle of text.  The original IS solvable if you have it, but significantly less intuitive and much harder.

Precon Challenges