Hack the Arch 2017

Hack the Arch is a Capture-the-Flag (CTF) event in which competitors or teams (max 4 players per team) use their cybersecurity techniques to solve puzzles in order to obtain a flag - usually represented as a hash value or a string (text). Whether you're new to the cyber realm or an industry professional, this event is designed to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to players of all ages and experience. This is a BYOD (Bring- Your-Own-Device) event, so make sure you bring a laptop!

Junior Tier

This tier consists of players who have little or no experience with CTFs or cybersecurity, and simply want to learn by having hands-on practice and conducting research on the various puzzle categories. Players in the Junior Tier will only compete against those in the same tier.

Professional Tier

This tier is for industry professionals and those who have played numerous CTFs in the past. This tier requires teams to solve challenges quickly to beat out their opponents. These players do not compete against the Junior Tier, although they can still solve the lower-level puzzles designed for Junior Tier players.



911 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63101

Event Date & Time:
Saturday, 24 June 2017
8:00am - 4:00pm



Cryptography involves encoding or encrypting data and messages. This practice is used to send secure messages to another person or machine. It is often used by hackers to send messages in plain sight or to hide their communication in network traffic. In Hack the Arch, you'll be exposed to old, non-computer-related ciphers and encoding methods, as well as more advanced, modern encryption.

SQL Databases

SQL - or Structured Query Language - is the language of databases. Databases are repositories for data. They can hold information such as usernames, passwords, e-mail addresses, credit card information, and even social security numbers. Databases are a treasure trove for hackers because they contain a lot of sensitive customer data. During this event, you'll have to use SQL to query databases to find specific information to solve challenges.


Programming is what makes the cyber world tick. It's what allows applications to work and powers everything you do on your machine. There are a plethora of programming languages out there: C, C++, python, perl, ruby-on-rails, java, Visual Basic, and so many more! This event will require you to put your programming knowledge to the test and fix existing code, or come up with your own code to solve challenges.


Hackers take advantage of vulnerabilities in software applications and network configurations. Leveraging exploits against these vulnerabilities is how hackers break into systems and steal data or pwn systems. By understanding these exploits and how they take advantage of vulnerabilities, you will better understand how to defend against them. Hack the Arch will have several applications that must be exploited in order to solve challenges and win flags.

Packet Analysis

Whenever you access a website, send an e-mail, or perform any sort of network activity - it sends what is called a packet. These packets can be monitored, saved, and replayed. By investigating a packet capture file, you can see what kinds of transmissions occurred on the network. This is a great practice for investigating hacker activity, and it's a skill you'll put to use at this event.


Did you know that you can hide information in things like pictures, audio, and text files? That's what steganography is, and you usually need a special tool to find the data hidden inside these files. You'll find several steganography files throughout Hack the Arch.


Forensics involve meticulous, detailed investigation of memory, files, behaviors, and anything that helps investigators gather evidence of malicious attacks.


Everyone loves a little bit of trivia! During Hack the Arch, you'll be exposed to a numbers of trivia questions relative to the game. Some questions will need to be answered by solving puzzles and putting pieces together; others will need to be solved by using reconnaissance and research on open-source resources.


Digital Ocean Credit

1st place - $500 credit
2nd place - $250 credit
3rd place - $125 credit


Hack the Arch 2017 would not be possible without the support of our sponsors!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? E-mail us at sponsorship@mcpa-stl.org

If you enjoy our events, please consider donating to the MCPA to keep our events FREE.

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