CMU Hacking Team Wins Seventh DEF CON Capture the Flag Title

Ryan NooneMonday, August 14, 2023

The winningest team in DEF CON's Capture the Flag (CTF) competition history, CMU's Plaid Parliament of Pwning recently defended its title, earning its seventh victory in the past 11 years as part of the Maple Mallard Magistrates.

The winningest team in DEF CON's Capture the Flag (CTF) competition history, Carnegie Mellon University's Plaid Parliament of Pwning (PPP), was back at it again as the team recently defended its title, earning its seventh victory in the past 11 years.

PPP joined forces with School of Computer Science alumnus and University of British Columbia Professor Robert Xiao's team, Maple Bacon, as well as hackers from alumni startup (The Duck). Together, the group competed under the name Maple Mallard Magistrates (MMM).

DEF CON's three-day flagship competition, widely considered the Olympics of hacking, brought together some of the world's most talented cybersecurity professionals, researchers and students, as 12 of the world's top teams attempted to break each other's systems, stealing virtual flags and accumulating points while simultaneously protecting their own. Finalists qualified from a field of 1,828 teams.

As the number of cybersecurity attacks continues to increase worldwide, competitions like DEF CON's CTF provide the opportunity for leading cybersecurity engineers to measure up against one another, learning and developing new techniques as they work through various challenges.

"It feels great to win once again, and the team is incredibly pleased that we built and maintained a lead throughout the entire contest," said Jay Bosamiya, PPP's team captain for DEF CON CTF, a Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department, and member of CMU's CyLab Security and Privacy Institute. "Our victory as MMM shows how well our three teams work together."

 To read more about the event, read the entire story on the CyLab website.

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