Pakistani Teams Shine At Black Hat MEA 2023 in Riyadh

For the first time in the history Pakistani teams participated in international cyber security event Black Hat.

Ignite national technology fund had selected 6 teams amongst the finalists of Cyber Security Hackathon 2021 & 2022 to compete in the Black Hat MEA CTF Competition. 250 teams around the world participated in three days international competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Black Hat is a well-known series of conferences focused on information security which are organized in USA and other countries every year. Black Hat events bring together professionals from the cybersecurity industry, including researchers, security experts, hackers, and enthusiasts.

This conference features briefings, workshops, CTF (Capture The Flag) competitions, and training sessions covering a wide range of topics related to cybersecurity, such as vulnerabilities, exploits, hacking techniques, defense strategies, and emerging threats. The primary goal of Black Hat conferences is to provide a platform for individuals to share knowledge, to discuss the latest trends in cybersecurity, and to learn about new tools and technologies.

This year’s Black Hat Middle East and Africa event was organized in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 14th to 16th November, 2023. 330+ exhibitors showcased their products and services at the event.  300 speakers including top Pakistani cybersecurity experts delivered their speeches at the event.

Ignite has been hosting the Digital Pakistan Cybersecurity Hackathon for the last two years and is organizing it this year also. Ignite provided an opportunity to finalists of Hackathon 2021 and 2022 to compete in the Black Hat MEA CTF competition and to represent Pakistan in an international cybersecurity event.

6 teams from Pakistan qualified for the competition (AirOverflow, Gryffins, Sudoers, Lexicons, SecurityBreakers, and ReturntoPwn). BlackHat had shortlisted 250 teams globally for the on-site event which happened in Riyadh from November 14-16, 2023.

Ignite sponsored the top 3 teams to compete in the competition and to represent Pakistan. The teams participated well during the 3-day competition.

Out of 250 teams from around the world, the final ranking of Pakistani teams is as follows: AirOverflow secured the 27th position, Sudoers claimed the 32nd spot, and Gryffens attained the 33rd position. It is important to mention that it is the first time, Pakistani teams have participated in the BlackHat event.

It is an opportunity for the cybersecurity teams to get International CTF experience which will help them prepare for better positions globally next time. Likewise, it is motivational for the talented teams who performed well in the CTF competitions; have the opportunity to represent Pakistan at a Global stage.

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