Euskal Encounter

Euskal Encounter is Spain’s largest and oldest demoparty and LAN party. I have been an attendee since 2005, and part of the official volunteer event staff since 2011.

The same organizing team also hosts two other smaller events: Gipuzkoa Encounter and Araba Encounter. At all three events I am the coordinator of the Free Software area and the chief BOFH of the local server infrastructure.

Hack It / Solve It competition

The Hack It is a hacking challenge where teams compete to solve a series of challenges on security, reverse engineering, digital forensics, cryptography, exploiting, and related fields.

The game mechanics are similar to those of a Jeopardy style security CTF challenge, but the challenge progression is purely linear: teams must complete a level to unlock the next one, and scoring is based purely on the number of completed levels. To alleviate the frustration of being stuck on a particular level, teams are allowed to skip ahead a number future levels, so teams can in fact work on up to three or four levels at once, depending on the configuration.

To open up the challenge to those less well versed in computer security, an alternate Solve It route was added to the challenge. Solve It levels do not require programming knowledge to solve, and instead concentrate on subjects such as logic puzzles, classical cryptography, basic digital forensics, and language. Players are only expected to have general computer user knowledge. Teams may compete on one or both of the routes, and there is both a combined prize and individual prizes for each route.

After the competition, the levels are opened up to the public and everyone can participate. You can check out prior instances of the challenge (ever since I started organizing it) at Some levels are not available, as they required physical elements during the event (e.g. interacting with a physical box with a USB port), while others have been adapted for the web (e.g. an FM radio broadcast has been replaced with an audio stream, which eliminates some of the fun but preserves the rest of the challenge). Fair warning: the level descriptions and the page in general are in Spanish only (although some levels may be implemented in English or in a language-neutral way… or a completely different language altogether!).

The framework that runs the Hack It / Solve It challenge is open source.

Hack It Framework on GitHub

AI Contest

In past years, Euskal Encounter held a RealTimeBattle competition. Unfortunately, the project has not been updated in a decade and has code-rotted to the point where it is not usable on modern systems. To fill the gap left by this competition, I developed the AI Contest, which is similar in spirit. In the current instance of the contest, contestants must write a robot (in their preferred programming language) that can autonomously play a game involving lighthouses that may or may not have been vaguely inspired by a game that rhymes with “egress”.

The documentation, framework, and examples for the contest are also available:

AI Contest on GitHub
2015-05-25 04:24