Nordic IT Security

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Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2023

Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2023 is an addition to carefully selected expert lectures and panels at the Nordic IT conference, for the first time, within our conference, a realistic presentation of attack and defense in the cyber world – HACKATHON – was presented.

Modeled after the world-renowned and influential Capture the Flag (CTF) competition in an “attack/defense” format, we have organized a unique cybersecurity team competition.


The hackathon took place in the virtual city “Holm City”, which has modern infrastructure and modern information systems and services. This concept ensures that teams can practice and evaluate their skills and abilities without risking or compromising information resources.

In “Holm City” Hackathon participants gain experience in conducting attacks and defense in cyberspace without harming real ICT systems.
The Hackathon is an excellent opportunity to test the team’s ability in dealing with real threats, as well as to create new knowledge and skills that are needed to protect ICT systems and services in a modern and contemporary environment.

A hackathon is a team game that requires the whole team to coordinate activities to achieve the best possible result. Quick reaction, excellent communication and a clear strategy are just some of the many factors that affect the successful fight with other teams in capturing and winning the ICT resources in the virtual city “Holm City” and finally winning the throne.
Teams in the virtual city “Holm City” perform both attack and defense on ICT infrastructure and services. Each team has up to 5 members. In addition to the machines available to team members, the team also has its own ICT infrastructure that it must defend against attacks from other teams. Like any other city “Holm City” has public services that are vulnerable to attacks by all teams.

On the attack side, teams need to discover vulnerabilities on services and machines in the ICT infrastructure defended by other teams as well as on machines and services in the public area of “Holm City”, and then exploit them and raise a flag. The raising of the flag is done by starting a script that signals which team has won the goal and from that moment points are awarded to that team.
On the defense side, teams need to patch existing vulnerabilities in their own ICT infrastructure and in the public services of “Holm City”, in order to protect their raised flags from being taken down by another team.

The main goal of the Hackathon for the team is to occupy as many resources as possible, to raise as many of their own flags as possible in the ICT infrastructure of other teams as well as in the public part of “Holm City”, and to defend them as long as possible from attacks by other teams. When one team takes advantage of a vulnerability on a machine and notices that a flag has been raised, it knocks it down and raises its own, since then the points go to the team that raised the flag. The team that lost the flag will lose points.
The Hackathon in the virtual city “Holm City” not only tests the technical skills of the team and the individual, but also psychophysical strength because its duration is 4 hours, where at the same time the team members cooperate with each other, share tasks and solve various problems.

How was it?

In a beautiful setting, the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center, with a view of sunny Stockholm on May 25, 2023, at 1 pm, the first Nordic IT Security Hackathon started.

During the Hackathon, the teams met their goals and won points with their quick reactions, effective communication and clear strategy. The scoreboard, on which points, goals and graphs were displayed, was the focus of all participants in the hall.

The participants of the Nordic IT Security event visited a wonderful environment, watched live the teams’ conducting attacks and defenses on the ICT infrastructure and watched their progress in real time on the scoreboard.

After an exhausting 4 hours, the whole hall could hear the countdown that marked the imminent end of the Hackathon. Exactly at 5 pm the competition was over, and all eyes were directed towards the control board which showed the results and the places won.

Nordic IT Security supplied valuable prizes for the first three places and consolation prizes for the other places.

The whole event ended with smiles, applause and congratulations.


Impression of one of the team members:

Team “lechtu”

“Thank you again for your efforts in organizing the wonderful event. Participating in the Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2023 was an exhilarating and eye-opening experience for our team. The Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2023 was expertly organized, leaving no room for disappointment. From registration to the final awards ceremony, the event's coordinators demonstrated a high level of professionalism. The Hackathon presented us with a series of complex and thought-provoking problems. Participating in the Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2023 was an unforgettable experience that broadened our perspectives and enhanced our cybersecurity skills. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the event organizers for executing a flawless competition and creating an environment that facilitated growth and camaraderie. We eagerly look forward to the Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2024.”

To the general satisfaction of all teams, visitors and organizers, the Nordic IT Security Hackathon 2023 fulfilled its goals.

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25th of May 2023