APU Dominate TAR UC CTF-Season One Competition

Team Spac3cat's fourth triumph and 2nd Runner-up honours for Team x0rry.

Even after winning three trophies in the last Capture the Flag (CTF) competition, team Spac3Cat has not slowed down. Spac3Cat officially become the first team to win the inaugural Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) CTF Competition, with team x0rry.
This first season’s intense six-hour competition featured challenges such as Web, Cryptography, Steganography, OSINT, and Reverse Engineering, in collaboration with VerdeSEC, a local cybersecurity community in Malaysia. 
Team Spac3Cat consisting of year two Data Analytics and Cyber Security students Ryan Martin (team leader), Nicholas and William Wijaya from Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) was announced as the Champion.
A great accomplishment not just because of how difficult it is, but also because team Spac3Cat was up against extremely well-prepared and vastly experienced hackers and programmers.
“The organiser utilised a unique ‘hide and seek’ format in which players had to find the flags hidden within a given website,” Nicholas explained on behalf of their team members, “Our position on the scoreboard kept changing throughout the competition, but we managed to snatch first place in the last few minutes.”
It was indeed a tough, challenging, and nerve-racking competition for them, despite the fact that they had three wins in the previous CTF competition within two months.
From 2nd runner up in the APU Internal CTF (iCTF) and F-Secure-MDEC Cyber Security Competition, they have now been crowned as Champions for the TAR UC CTF as well as the APU Battle of Hackers (BOH) 2021.
“When competing, it is essential to keep trying as best as possible until the end using all techniques you learned in class or from previous experiences. You never know when someone will be able to overtake your position”.
“Some challenges require you to think outside the box, therefore attempt things that may not seem obvious at first might lead to the answer and guessing also works if you are stuck,” team Spac3Cat advises and encourages new students interested in competing in CTF competitions to link up with them so they can learn from each other. 
Well-paid hobby
It all started as a hobby to spend free time during semester break for Cyber Security students Wesley Wong Kee Han (team leader), Ong Fo Seng, and Lim Wei Xun, known as team x0rry, who came in 2nd runner up in the TAR UC CTF.
“We were from the same high school, but never had the chance to work together before. At last, cybersecurity brought us together at APU and come out with a cool name, team x0rry, inspired by the popular encryption method in CTF (XOR), combining the vocab ‘sorry’ as a shipping name,” said Wesley representing his team.
They discovered the APU iCTF competition listed in APSpace and decided to participate. From there, they secured the 2nd runner up position, giving them lots of confidence to continue their journey in CTF competitions.
They met Ms Yusnita Yusof from School of Technology during the CTF elective module in the second semester, and she encouraged them to progressively grow the team's portfolio by participating in competitions on a regular basis.
It was tough act to juggle between studies and preparing for these competitions. However, the success they achieved in TAR UC CTF as reawakened their interest and competitive spirit.
“We feel responsible to continue our senior legacy of bringing home and showcasing it to all at the campus. It is also a great way to fill out our resume for our internship.”
For new students interested in participating in the CTF competition, please visit for updates. By participating in competitions like these, you have the opportunity to join a new community and meet like-minded people, opportunity to practise soft skills such as communication, collaboration, time management, problem-solving, adaptation, and the best part is that many CTFs offer generous prizes.