Capture the Signal!

Capture the Signal, or simply CTS, is is a challenge-based contest (pretty much like a CTF) that focuses exclusively on the reverse engineering of radio signals. This activity is also known as “blind signal analysis” as the specifications of the signal are not known to the attacker.

This contest is organized by Trend Micro Research for researchers, white-hat hackers, and practitioners in the field!

How does it Work?

Contestants should use their RF-hacking kung fu and tools like GNURadio, GQRX, URH, Python, C, black magic, to examine a series of increasingly complex radio signals to extract key information leading them to the next signal.

The game is hosted on site. The radio signals will be distributed via RF, and “over IP” as an alternative. The use of IP eliminates the complexity of deploying actual radios and transmitting RF over the air.

GNURadio, for example, supports the tunneling of signals natively via ZeroMQ, so the entry barrier is fairly low and the players could focus on the real challenge. For the same reason, we may provide VMs to support the GNURadio toolchain, as setting it up can be a time consuming process and is not relevant to the core of the challenge. Of course, participants are welcome in using their own setup.

Participants are also welcome to use Software Defined Radio (SDR) equipment to interact directly with RF signals over the air.