US Cyber Challenge: Cyber Quests October 2012

Welcome to the Cyber Quests portion of the US Cyber Challenge!

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.

There are two Cyber Quests scheduled for this fall. The first quest, which will take place in October, will focus on Digital Forensics. The second quest, which will take place in November, will focus on Infrastructure Security.

Digital Forensics (October):

Fri. Oct. 12, 2012 7:00am EDTQuiz opens
Wed. Oct. 24, 2012 9:00pm EDTRegistration closes
Thu. Oct. 25, 2012 11:59pm EDTQuiz closes

The first quest in the Fall 2012 series will be released on October 12, 2012. Participants will be provided with a hard drive image that they must download and analyze using forensic tools such as Autopsy and The Sleuth Kit. Participants will be asked questions about the filesystem itself, to read files within the filesystem, recover deleted files, search for particular data or types of files, and identify evidence of tampering or other unusual characteristics of the filesystem.

This Cyber Quest will require the use of forensic tools such as the GUI tool Autopsy and the command line tools upon which it is based, The Sleuth Kit. You must do ONE of the following:

  • (recommended) Download the VMware Player image of BackTrack 5 R2, which contains the necessary tools already installed. To select the VMware image, you must select the Gnome Window Manager, and then the VMware Image Type will be available.
    On Windows, you will need VMware Player. On Mac OS X, you will need VMware Fusion.
  • Download a live CD of Helix3 or one of the other live CDs listed here.
  • Manually install the tools on your system.

Registration will open on September 14, 2012, and will close on October 24, 2012. The quiz will be available from October 12, 2012 until October 25, 2012. 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 October 25, 2012 (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.

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

Registration is now closed.
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on the competition and awards throughout the registration and competition period.

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.

Infrastructure Security (November):

Also keep an eye out for our second quest of the season, which will take place in November, focusing on Infrastructure Security! This quest will require the use of BackTrack 5. More information is available here.

Tue. Oct. 30, 2012 10:00am EDTRegistration opens
Wed. Nov. 7, 2012 7:00am ESTQuiz opens
Mon. Nov. 19, 2012 9:00pm ESTRegistration closes
Tue. Nov. 20, 2012 11:59pm ESTQuiz closes

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