MITER Embedded Capture the Flag Competition to build student skills for a growing job market

MCLEAN, Virginia & BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Microelectronic chips are found in a myriad of important applications in our daily lives, from electric vehicles and drones to the Internet of Things and 5G to contactless payments. These applications and devices are vulnerable to malicious actors, just as software applications are vulnerable to malicious cyber actors. We need a new generation of engineering professionals to address these vulnerabilities to protect us all.

To help prepare students for jobs in this multi-billion dollar market, MITER is hosting an Embedded Capture the Flag (eCTF) competition from January to April 2023. In addition to gaining valuable hands-on experience, student teams are eligible to win cash prizes.

“While many online capture the flag competitions focus on security, MITER focuses on electronic hardware, which is increasingly vulnerable than traditional computer systems and software,” said Doug Robbins, vice president. , engineering and prototyping, MITER. “Our participants will engage in both attack and defense as they attempt to create a secure system and then learn from their mistakes.”

New this year, the eCTF invites external sponsors to help improve the competition and enable more students to participate. The sponsorship program is designed to help participating sponsors fill critical workforce talent gaps.

In the 2023 competition, teams will design and implement a key fob system for a car door lock. The system should protect the car from unauthorized entry and prevent attacks such as replays and key fob cloning. In the first phase of the eCTF, competitors design and implement a secure system based on a set of challenge requirements. In the second phase, the competitors analyze and attack the designs of the other teams. Teams earn points by leading successful attacks and resisting attacks from other teams.

College and high school teams of all sizes can participate, although teams are recommended to have 3-10 students. Sponsorship of a faculty member is required.

The participation of professors and students in the eCTF is free. MITER provides the resources needed to complete the competition, but teams can choose to purchase additional resources to help with development or offense. MITER provides teams with a reference implementation, onboard hardware, and technical guidance.

MITER encourages teams of all experience levels to participate in the eCTF and aims to make the eCTF accessible to students new to security and embedded systems. However, participants are recommended to understand development in C and Python, as the reference design will be implemented in these languages.

Winning teams receive a cash prize, publicity from MITER, and generally receive accolades from their school. The award amount for 2023 will be announced at kick-off on January 18, 2023. Students have used their participation in past eCTF competitions to build their CVs, present at conferences and open the door to valuable internship opportunities and career paths, including engineering positions at MITER Partners and Sponsors and eCTF.

Sponsorships available

The competition is on track for record attendance, having surpassed the number of participating schools last year. The eCTF Sponsorship Program offers companies the opportunity to grow their talent pool, promote their brand and help train the next generation of cybersecurity and integrated security professionals. Sponsors will also have the opportunity to participate in MITER’s workforce development efforts, in addition to brand visibility and networking opportunities with students and researchers.

To register a team, visit For more details on sponsorship opportunities, visit


MITER’s mission-driven teams are dedicated to solving problems for a safer world. Through our public-private partnerships and federally funded R&D centers, we work across government and in partnership with industry to address security, stability and well-being challenges. to be of our nation.

About MITER Engenuity

MITER Engenuity, a subsidiary of MITER, is a technology foundation for the public good. MITER Engenuity brings MITER’s deep technical know-how and systems thinking to the private sector to solve complex challenges that government cannot solve alone. MITER Engenuity catalyzes the collective R&D strength of the entire U.S. federal government, universities, and private sector to address national and global challenges, such as protecting critical infrastructure, building a resilient semiconductor ecosystem , building a Genome Center for the public good, accelerating use case innovation in 5G, and democratizing threat-informed cyber defense.

©2022 MITER #22-3932 12-06-2022

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