Namibia National Cyber security Competition (NNCSC)
The following are the approved national rules for
the 2016 NNCSC competition. Please refer to the official rules for the
Throughout these rules, the following terms are
Team/Operations Team - competition officials
that organize, run, and manage the competition. They
solicit for sponsorship and handle all communication.
Team - competition officials that are responsible
for the event logistics including food, venue and program design.
Team - penetration testing professionals
simulating external hackers attempting to gain unauthorized access to
competition teams’ systems.
Team - competition support members who provide
overall administrative support to the competition. They develop the
documentation and rules.
Team/Competition Team - the institution
competitive teams consisting of students competing in a NNCSC event.
Team- competition support members responsible for
the infrastructure and provide
- Green Team- competition
officials, who observe team performance in their competition area, judge and
evaluate team performance and rule compliance.
Captain - a student or team member of the Black or
White Team identified as the primary liaison between the Blue Team and the
White or Black Team.
Co-Captain - a student or team member of the White or
Black Team identified as the secondary or backup liaison between the Blue
Team and the White or Black Team, should the Team Captain be unavailable
(i.e. not in the competition room).
representatives - a faculty or staff representative of the competing
(Black or White) Team’s host institution responsible for serving as a
liaison between competition officials and the Blue Team’s institution.
- Competitors in NNCSC events must be full-time students of the
institution they are representing.
- Team members must qualify as full-time or part-time students as
defined by the institution they are attending (NUST or UNAM or IUM).
- Individual competitors may participate in NNCSC events for a
maximum of five years.
- A competitor awaiting their graduation is exempt from the
full-time/ part-time student requirement and may compete in NNCSC
events provided the competitor has a demonstrated record of full-time
attendance for the previous semester.
- If a team member competes in a qualifying, NNCSC competition and
graduates before the next level of the NNCSC event in the same year,
that team member will be allowed to continue to compete at NNCSC events
during the same year should their team win and advance to the next
round of competition.
- Competitors may only be a member of one team per NNCSC year.
- Individuals who have participated in previous NNCSC events in any
role other than as a competitor must obtain eligibility approval from
the manager of the competition prior to being added to the team list.
Once a candidate’s eligibility has been approved they will remain
eligible for all NNCSC events during the same year.
- Each team must submit a list of up to 6 competitors to the
competition manager of the competition. Lists must be submitted at
least two weeks prior to the start of that event. All competitors
on the list must meet all stated eligibility requirements. No
changes to the team list will be permitted after the team has
participated in the pre-training session. The competition team of
4 must be chosen from the submitted list. A competition team
is defined as the group of individuals eligible to compete in a NNCSC
- Each competition team may consist of up to four (4) members
chosen from the submitted list.
- Each competition team may have no more than two (1) graduate
students as team members.
- Once a NNCSC event has begun, a team must complete the
competition with the team that started the competition.
Substitutions, additions, or removals of team members are prohibited
except for extreme circumstances.
- Team Representatives must petition the Competition manager in
writing for the right to perform a change to the competition team.
- The Competition manager must approve any substitutions or
additions prior to those actions occurring.
- Teams or team members arriving after an event’s official start
time, for reasons beyond their control, may be allowed to join the
competition provided a substitution has not already been made.
Event coordinators will review the reason for unpunctuality and make the
- Each team will designate a Team Captain for the duration of the
competition to act as the team liaison between the competition staff and
the teams before and during the competition. In the event of the
Team Captain’s absence, teams must have an identified team liaison
serving as the captain in the competition space at all times during
- An institution is only allowed to compete one team in any NNCSC
- Each team must have at least one representative present at every NNCSC
event. The representative must be a faculty or staff member of the
institution the team is representing.
- Once a NNCSC event has started, representatives may not coach,
assist, or advise their team until the completion of that event
(including overnight hours for multi-day competitions).
- Representatives may not enter their team’s competition space
during any NNCSC event.
- Representatives must not interfere with any other competing team.
- The representative, or any non-team member, must not discuss any
aspect of the competition event, specifically event injections,
configurations, operations, team performance or red team functions, with
their team during NNCSC competition hours and must not attempt to
influence their team’s performance in any way.
- Throughout the competition, Operations and Silver Team members
will occasionally need access to a team’s system(s) for scoring,
troubleshooting, etc. Teams must immediately allow Operations and Silver
Team members’ access when requested.
- Teams must not connect any devices or peripherals to the
competition network unless specifically authorized to do so by
Operations or Silver Team members.
- Teams may not modify the hardware configurations of competition
systems. Teams must not open the case of any server, printer, PC,
monitor, KVM, router, switch, firewall, or any other piece of equipment
used during the competition. All hardware related questions and
issues should be referred to the White Team.
- Teams may not remove any item from the competition
area unless specifically authorized to do so by Operations or Silver Team
members including items brought into the team areas at the start of the
- Team members are forbidden from entering or attempting to enter
another team’s competition workspace or room during NNCSC events.
- Teams must compete without “outside assistance” from non-team
members including team representatives from the start of the competition
to the end of the competition (including overnight hours for multi-day
events). All private communications (calls, emails, chat, texting,
directed emails, forum postings, conversations, requests for assistance,
etc) with non-team members including team representatives that would
help the team gain an unfair advantage are not allowed and are grounds
for disqualification and/or a penalty assigned to the appropriate team.
- Printed reference materials (books, magazines, checklists) are
permitted in competition areas and teams may bring printed reference
materials to the competition.
- Team representatives, sponsors, and observers are not competitors
and are prohibited from directly assisting any competitor through direct
advice, “suggestions”, or hands-on assistance. Any team sponsor or
observers found assisting a team will be asked to leave the competition
area for the duration of the competition and/or a penalty will be
assigned to the appropriate team.
- Team members will not initiate any contact with members of the BlackTeam
during the hours of live competition. Team members are free to
talk to BlackTeam members during official competition events such as
breakfasts, dinners, mixers, and receptions that occur outside of live
- Teams are free to examine their own systems but no offensive
activity against other teams, the Operations Team, the White Team, or
the Black Team will be acceptable. This includes port scans,
unauthorized connection attempts, vulnerability scans, etc. Any
team performing offensive activity against other teams, the Operations
Team, the White Team, the Red Team, or any global asset will be
immediately disqualified from the competition. If
there are any questions or concerns during the competition about whether
or not specific actions can be considered offensive in nature contact
the Operations Team before performing those actions.
- Teams are allowed to use active response mechanisms such as TCP
resets when responding to suspicious/malicious activity. Any
active mechanisms that interfere with the functionality of the scoring
engine or manual scoring checks are exclusively the responsibility of
the teams. Any firewall rule, IDS, IPS, or defensive action that
interferes with the functionality of the scoring engine or manual
scoring checks are exclusively the responsibility of the teams.
- All team members will wear badges identifying team affiliation at
all times during competition hours.
- Only Operations Team/Silver Team members will be allowed in
competition areas outside of competition hours.
- Internet resources such as FAQs, how-to's, existing forums and
responses, and company websites, are completely valid for competition
use provided there is no fee required to access those resources and
access to those resources has not been granted based on a previous
membership, purchase, or fee. Only resources that could reasonably be
available to all teams are permitted. For example, accessing Cisco
resources through a CCO account would not be permitted but searching a
public Cisco support forum would be permitted. Public sites such
as Security Focus or Packetstorm are acceptable. Only public resources
that every team could access if they chose to are permitted.
- Teams may not use any external, private electronic staging area
or FTP site for patches, software, etc. during the competition.
Teams are not allowed to access private Internet-accessible libraries,
FTP sites, web sites, network storage, email accounts, or shared drives
during the competition. All Internet resources used during the
competition must be freely available to all other teams. The use
of external collaboration and storage environments such as Google
Docs/Drive is prohibited unless the environment was provided by and is
administered by competition officials. Accessing private staging
areas or email accounts is grounds for disqualification and/or a penalty
assigned to the appropriate team.
- No peer to peer or distributed file sharing clients or servers
are permitted on competition networks unless specifically authorized by
the competition officials.
- Internet activity, where allowed, will be monitored and any team
member caught viewing inappropriate or unauthorized content will be
subject to disqualification and/or a penalty assigned to the appropriate
team. This includes direct contact with outside sources through
AIM/chat/email or any other public or non-public services including
sites such as Facebook. For the purposes of this competition
inappropriate content includes pornography or explicit materials,
pirated media files, sites containing key generators and pirated
software, etc. If there are any questions or concerns during the
competition about whether or not specific materials are unauthorized
contact the White Team immediately.
- All network activity that takes place on the competition network
may be logged and subject to release. Competition officials are
not responsible for the security of any information, including login
credentials, which competitors place on the competition network.
- No memory sticks, flash drives, removable drives, CDROMs,
electronic media, or other similar electronic devices are allowed in the
room during the competition unless specifically authorized by the
Operations or Silver Team in advance. Any violation of these rules
will result in disqualification of the team member and/or a penalty
assigned to the appropriate team.
- Teams may not bring any type of computer, laptop, tablet, PDA,
cell phone, smart phone, or wireless device into the competition area
unless specifically authorized by the Operations or Silver Team in
advance. Any violation of these rules will result in
disqualification of the team member and/or a penalty assigned to the
- Printed reference materials (books, magazines, checklists) are
permitted in competition areas and teams may bring printed reference
materials to the competition as specified by the competition officials.
- All participants, including competitors, coaches, Green Team, Black
Team, Silver Team, and Gold Team
members, are expected to behave professionally at all times during all NNCSC
events including preparation meetings, receptions, mixers, banquets,
competitions and so on.
- In addition to published NNCSC rules, Host Site policies and
rules apply throughout the competition and must be respected by all NNCSC
- All NNCSC events are alcohol free events. No drinking is
permitted at any time during competition hours.
- Activities such as swearing, consumption of alcohol or illegal
drugs, disrespectful or unruly behaviour, sexual harassment, improper
physical contact, becoming argumentative, wilful violence, or wilful
physical damage have no place at the competition and will not be
- Violations of the rules can be deemed unprofessional conduct if
determined to be intentional or malicious by competition officials.
- Competitors behaving in an unprofessional manner may receive a
warning from the Green Team, Gold Team, or Operations Team for their
first offense. For egregious actions or for subsequent violations
following a warning, competitors may have a penalty assessed against
their team, be disqualified, and/or expelled from the competition
site. Competitors expelled for unprofessional conduct will be
banned from future NNCSC competitions for a period of no less than 12
months from the date of their expulsion.
- Individual(s), other than competitors, behaving in an
unprofessional manner may be warned against such behaviour by the Green Team
or asked to leave the competition entirely by the Competition Director,
the Operations Team, or Gold Team.
Disputes, and Disclosures
- PRIOR TO THE COMPETITION: Team captains are encouraged to work
with the Competition Director and their staff to resolve any questions
regarding the rules of the competition or scoring methods before the
- DURING THE COMPETITION: Protests by any team must be presented in
writing by the Team Captain to the Green Team as soon as possible.
The competition officials will be the final arbitrators for any protests
or questions arising before, during, or after the competition.
Rulings by the competition officials are final. All competition
results are official and final as of the Closing Ceremony.
- In the event of an individual disqualification, that team member
must leave the competition area immediately upon notification of
disqualification and must not re-enter the competition area at any
time. Disqualified individuals are also ineligible for individual
or team awards.
- In the event of a team disqualification, the entire team must
leave the competition area immediately upon notice of disqualification
and is ineligible for any individual or team award.
- All competition materials including injects, scoring sheets, and
team-generated reports and documents must remain in the competition
area. Only materials brought into the competition area by the
student teams may be removed after the competition concludes.
- Scoring will be based on keeping required services up,
controlling/preventing un-authorized access, and completing business
tasks that will be provided throughout the competition. Teams
accumulate points by successfully completing injects and maintaining
services. Teams lose points by violating service level agreements,
usage of recovery services, and successful penetrations by the Black
- Scores will be maintained by the competition officials and may be
shared at the end of the competition. There will be no running
totals provided during the competition. Team rankings may be
provided at the beginning of each competition day.
- Any team action that interrupts the scoring system is exclusively
the responsibility of that team and will result in a lower score.
Any team member that modifies a competition system or system component,
with or without intent, in order to mislead the scoring engine into
assessing a system or service as operational, when in fact it is not,
may be disqualified and/or the team assessed penalties. Should any
question arise about scoring, the scoring engine, or how scoring
functions, the Team Captain should immediately contact the competition
officials to address the issue.
- White Teams are strongly encouraged to provide incident reports
for each Black Team incident they detect. Incident reports can be completed
as needed throughout the competition and presented to the Silver Team
for collection. Incident reports must contain a description of
what occurred (including source and destination IP addresses, timelines
of activity, passwords cracked, access obtained, damage done, etc), a
discussion of what was affected, and a remediation plan. A
thorough incident report that correctly identifies and addresses a
successful black Team attack may reduce the Black Team penalty for that
event – no partial points will be given for incomplete or vague incident
- Team Site Judging and Compliance
- With the advent of viable remote access technologies and
virtualization, teams will have the ability to participate in NNCSC
events from their respective institutions. This section addresses policy
for proper engagement in NNCSC events for remote teams.
- One or
more Remote Site Judge(s) must be assigned to the team site. At least one
Remote Site Judge must be present at the remote site for the duration of
the event in order to facilitate the execution of the NNCSC. The
qualifications of Remote Site Judge are the same as Event Judge. Subject to the specifications of the remote
competition, the responsibilities of the Remote Site Judge may include
- Be present with the participating team to assure compliance with
all event rules
- Provide direction and clarification to the team as to rules and
- Establish communication with all Event Judges and provide status
- Provide technical assistance to remote teams regarding use of the
- Review all equipment to be used during the remote competition for
compliance with all event rules
- Assure that the Team Captain has communicated to the Event Judges
approval of initial system integrity and remote system functionality
- Assist Event Judges in the resolution of grievances and
disciplinary action, including possible disqualification, where needed
- Report excessive misconduct to local security or police
- Assess completion of various injects based on timeliness and
quality when requested by Event Judges
- Act as a liaison to site personnel responsible for core
networking and internet connectivity
- Provide direct technical assistance to teams when requested by
- Provide feedback to students subsequent to the completion of the NNCSC
recommendation for Remote Site Judge(s) is expected to be given from a
Team representative of the participating institution to the NNCSC Event
Manager. Remote Site Judge(s) must not be currently employed, a student
of, or otherwise affiliated with the participating institution, other
than membership on an advisory board. NNCSC Event Managers should also be
comprised of a contact from the participating institution responsible for
core networking and internet connectivity that will be available during
the NNCSC event. Remote teams are required to compete from a location
with controlled access, i.e., a separate room or a portion of a room that
is dedicated for use during the NNCSC event. Workstations and internet
access must comply with published requirements.
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