Think like a hacker

Decos is joining forces with security partner Nováccent and is organizing a Capture the Flag, better known as a hackathon. In this way, the JOIN developers are arming themselves against hackers.


Security is hot

Software security is a hot topic; it is in the news every day and governments are insisting on identifying leaks. A leak is not necessarily in the software itself; it may be caused by an employee who did not log out of the computer properly or who left a USB stick lying around. At Decos we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of data leaks. Understanding how hackers go about their work is also part of that, which is why Decos joined forces with security partner Nováccent, expert in cyber security, and held a Capture the Flag for their own developers.

Our developers were present Friday morning at 8:30 am sharp to listen attentively to guest speakers from Nováccent. The event began with a brief session about the latest developments in cyber security land, which quickly led them to explore the details, followed by an explanation of the competition. What exactly is a Capture the Flag? In this competition, different teams compete with each other and the object is to be the first one to find “Flags”: leaks in a piece of software developed specifically for the competition. The first one to find a leak or hint, captures a “Flag”. The team that finds all the Flags within the designated time frame wins the competition.


Full of enthusiasm, the developers got to work on the software. The obvious question is: where do you start? While one team started going through the source code, the other team tried different login attempts. The teams had a total of 4 hours to collect all the Flags. The teams’ progress could be followed in real-time on a large screen, which boosted the competition between the teams even further.

The first team finished at 2:30 pm, well within the designated time frame. Developer Gert-Jaap and software security expert Frans were able to capture all the Flags, thus taking home the silver cup. What were the learnings that day? You can innovate by thinking like a hacker.