Kaizen CTF is an event developed and hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton.  It's a CTF designed to provide multi-layered, non-obvious vulnerabilities using techniques in forensics, web exploitation, scripting, and reverse engineering.

You can find more information on Kaizen CTF here: https://www.boozallen.com/s/insight/thought-leadership/kaizen-capture-the-flag.html

Our Team

I played the Dayton, OH event remotely with two other teammates.  I work with both individuals and they're truly top-notch experts.  Here's the roster for the team I played on: flag{notfound}.

  • majesticlogic
  • jumpinjelly789
  • syyntax

First Impressions

My first impressions with this event is that ran fairly smooth and offered a nice balance between beginner-level challenges and challenges that required more experience and skill.  There were a few hiccups in the beginning (as is the case with most CTFs).  But once all the kinks were worked out, the game ran fairly smoothly.

Staying Organized

I've played a lot of CTFs, and one thing that remains crucial and is often overlooked is organization and internal communication.  My first time playing Kaizen CTF was four years ago.  We had one super bright teammate who was scoring challenges pretty quickly.  But, Kaizen is a team-focused event and the challenges build on one another.  That means that context from one challenge is required to solve future challenges.  If one teammate has all the answers and doesn't communicate how they solved the challenges, none of the other teammates can progress and help in future challenges.

In order to stay organized, I set up a board in Trello (https://trello.com).  I created a list for each category of challenges.  Each challenge was created as its own "card" in the Trello list.  This worked out wonderfully for the team! We made sure to take snapshots and included the images, flags, and passwords in each corresponding card.

Kaizen CTF Board in Trello

Staying organized for a team-based CTF not only helps with communication and collaboration, but it also facilitates learning for each member of the team.  Yeah, some teams can pull ahead pretty far with one super smart guy on the team; however, it's this writer's opinion that CTFs like this one are an opportunity to work as a team and learn.  It sounds cheesy, but the goal should be to learn, not just to win.

Click here to see all the write-ups for Kaizen CTF.