US Cyber Challenge: Cyber Quest August 2011

The competition is now over! Congratulations to our winners!

Welcome to the Cyber Quests portion of the US Cyber Challenge! To participate, please click the Question Engine link on the left and log in with the account that you created when you registered.

The USCC-sponsored Cyber Quests are a series of fun but challenging on-line competitions allowing participants to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of information security realms. Each quest features an artifact for analysis, along with a series of quiz questions. Some quests focus on a potentially vulnerable sample web server as the artifact, challenging participants to identify its flaws using vulnerability analysis skills. Other quests are focused around forensic analysis, packet capture analysis, and more. The quests have varying levels of difficulty and complexity, with some quests geared toward beginners, while others include more intermediate and ultimately advanced material.

The third quest in the 2011 series will be released on August 29, 2011 and will remain open until September 15, 2011. Participants will be provided with a network packet capture file that they must analyze to identify and interpret various types of network and web application attacks. Participants will have to answer questions about the network itself, as well as the activities of the users on the network. The quiz is designed for an intermediate skill level, and all questions can be answered using the Wireshark packet analysis tool.

The artifact for this challenge, a packet capture file, will be available to registered users for analysis from August 29 through September 15. Registered users will each have three attempts to take the quiz. For each of your three attempts, you will have 24 hours from the time you begin the quiz to complete it, and you may only submit your answers once per attempt. For each attempt, if you do not submit the answers within 24 hours of when you start, or by 11:59pm EDT on September 15, 2011 (whichever comes first), you will receive a zero score for that attempt. Winners will be determined based on who achieves the highest score in the shortest amount of time. In the event of a tie score, the shortest time is the winner. While players are given a full day for the quiz, the quests are designed to be completed in approximately one hour.

Any user found to have registered for more than one account will be disqualified and ineligible for any camp invitations, awards, prizes, scholarships or other opportunities presented as a result of Cyber Quests.

Before you begin, please download and install Wireshark, and then download the following packet capture file for analysis:
August 2011 Cyber Quest PCAP

Important Notice: The packet capture file contains evidence of attacks, but is not malicious in any way. Some anti-virus tools may alert based on the presence of the attack evidence. Specifically, McAfee is known to identify the packet capture file as a false positive. However, the file itself cannot attack or exploit computers in any way, and is not executable at all. The file is merely read using the Wireshark analysis tool, and it in no way manipulates or alters Wireshark. If a user receives an anti-virus alert, they need to either configure the anti-virus tool to allow the file to be opened or to analyze it on a computer with a different anti-virus tool.

Also, please note that there is a bug in Wireshark 1.4.5 that causes it to crash when displaying certain packets in the packet capture file. Please make sure that you are using Wireshark 1.4.6 or newer!

Are you ready for the challenge? Take the Cyber Quest challenge to compete for a trip to participate in NetWars Tournament. Eligible North Carolina students can compete for an invitation to our Fall Cyber Camp hosted by Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. Please visit the U.S. Cyber Challenge website for details. Additional awards, prizes and scholarships will become available. Cyber Quests are open to U.S. participants and camp invitations, awards, prizes and scholarships are available to U.S. citizens only at this time.

Registration is now closed.
Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and the U.S. Cyber Challenge Website for updated information
on the competition and awards throughout the registration and competition period.

U.S. Cyber Challenge is a division of the Center for Internet Security. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) is a national not-for-profit organization comprising three divisions: Benchmarking, Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and U.S. Cyber Challenge. Through its three divisions, CIS is responsible for the development and distribution of benchmarks that establish standards for the secure configuration of information technology systems, provision of cyber security for state, local, tribal and territorial governments, and the identification and development of potential talent for the cyber security workforce of the future.

For more information about Cyber Quests, please contact Karen Evans at

Technical Support questions about the challenge should be directed to However, please keep in mind that we will not give answers to the quiz itself.

All information will be used in connection with the activities associated with the US Cyber Challenge including statistical reporting for accounting of performance metrics regarding the participants.