Before the competition

Please ensure that you register online before the 1st of September 2015.


The challenges in the competition are divided into four themes:

  • General ‘think outside the box’ problems (40% weighting)
  • Ethical web hacking (20% weighting)
  • Network forensics (20% weighting)
  • Encoding and cryptography (20% weighting)

The following infographic provides an insight into some of the concepts that will be tested in the competition:

Virtual Ubuntu Lab Image

We have prepared an Ubuntu virtual machine image that students can run on their PCs at school or at home for practicing problems and attempting WebGoat challenges in a safe environment. This virtual machine requires 1GB of Ram and 8GB of storage to adequately run on a host PC.

To get started:

  • Download and Install Virtual Box -
  • Download the file
  • Extract the file onto your hard drive
  • Open Virtualbox, then on the Menu bar, click on Machine then click on Add. Then, look for the extracted .vbox file. The ‘PlayPen’ Virtual Machine should then appear powered off on the list.
  • Click on the green Start Button to Power On the Virtual Machine


  • If a password prompt is displayed inside the VM, you can login using the username curious and the password curious.
  • If the Virtual Machine is performing too slowly, try increasing the RAM from 1GB to 1.5GB or more memory.
  • If you are unable to see any traffic through the Burp Proxy, then please ensure that you click on the Network Proxy Toggle on the Firefox toolbar highlighted in red below to change the icon to a chalkboard: