This October, Cyber Hacktics and CyberUp will be hosting this year's Hacktober CTF in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Participants can create teams of up to four players to take on DEADFACE, the notorious hacker group featured in this year's event.

This event will be completely virtual and will take place 9am CDT on Friday, October 16, and will end at 9pm CDT on Saturday, October 17. The scoring server will open for public registration on Wednesday, September 16.

About These Events

Hacktober CTF has been an annual event since 2016. It started out as a local competition in October in the greater St. Louis area. Each year, it progressively expanded. In 2018, Hacktober CTF grew to a nation-wide event. This year, we're taking it a step further by opening the competition to a global audience.

The Team

Hacktober CTF is developed by military veterans and industry professionals. The team developing this year's event includes individuals that put on Hacktober 2016, 2017, and 2018, and Hack the Arch 2017 in St. Louis. They include members from the following organizations:

  • Cyber Hacktics
  • Cyber Up
  • 42nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron

The Story

All good CTFs should have a cohesive story that tries to tie challenges together.  It's not enough to just provide a challenge that says "find the flag."  Players should be given context around why a flag needs to be found.  That context is best delivered in a cohesive storyline.

Background vector created by pikisuperstar -
DEADFACE is a notorious hacker group who increase their activity particularly in October. They're all about theatrics and inciting fear. They employ a variety of different hackers, each with their own unique skillsets. One of the calling cards of DEADFACE is that they use a Halloween-themed naming convention for their attacks and artifacts left on their victim's machines.

Who Can Play?

Anyone! Whether you're a seasoned professional or someone who has zero experience and is just getting started, this event has challenges for everyone! We designed the challenges on a scale that would appeal to the broadest audience possible. Some of the challenges are easy and only require players to know how to search the internet. Other challenges require research, expertise, and experience.

The challenges for this event are broken down into various categories including:

  • Cryptography
  • Steganography
  • Traffic Analysis
  • Exploitation
  • Programming
  • SQL


The prizes for this year's event have been generously provided by UNCOMN, a diverse group of engineers, architects, analysts, hackers, and geeks who provide industry-leading business-to-business management and technology consulting services.


Cash prizes are eligible for US residents only and will be mailed to the team captain to distribute among the team members. Players from outside the US can participate for bragging rights and will be awarded digital badges from Cyber Hacktics.

  • First Place Team: $400
  • Second Place Team: $200
  • Third Place Team: $100


In addition to prizes, players will be awarded Cyber Hacktics' digital badges for participating in the event.

Hacktober 2020 CTF badges

Some of the badges that can be won include:

  • Hacktober CTF participant
  • Badges for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
  • DEADFACE badge
  • DEADFACE Terminated badge
  • Sharpshooter (teams with high solve rates)
  • First Blood (teams that score the first challenge in a category)
  • Mentor (awarded to players who assist other teams without actually solving the challenge for them)
  • Author (teams that create a write-up of how they solved challenges)
  • And more!


Of course, none of this could be possible without the generous support of our sponsors!

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Hacktober CTF feel free to contact Cyber Hacktics at or CyberUp at We look forward to seeing you in the competition!