The theme of this year’s HackFu UK was a spoofed military academy, known as the ‘Cyber Corps’ – a training school where the best and brightest in security were recruited to fight crime using their unique skills. Attendees were told upon arrival that five nuclear bombs had been hidden around the site, with just 48 hours before they would detonate.
The recruits needed to draw on their collective expertise to complete a number of hacking challenges and solve logic puzzles that ultimately led them to blueprints that would allow them to solve the final challenge – to defuse the five explosive devices.
The theme of the inaugural event in South Africa involved a zombie creating virus running rampant in Johannesburg, threatening to escape to infect the whole world. The teams were successful in following the clues back to the creators of the virus at an organisation called RWM.
Locked in a warehouse for their protection, the competitors were able to obtain clues by lock-picking their way into secured containers, intercepting radio transmissions using home-made receivers and hacking the company's computer systems.
Our HackFu contestants spent a few nights in a decommissioned prison at RCP Ashwell, Rutland in 2015. Locked up and under the close scrutiny of the prison guards, teams were tasked with finding the undercover moles who were leaking information by completing challenges for clues.
In 2014 we took on the ambitious challenge of converting a gothic mansion in Gloucestershire into a Wild West town. We could saddle up and ride into town on a horse, walk down the boarded sidewalks of main street or even have a go at robbing the bank vault in the underground cellars.
The RAF Air Defence Radar Museum in Neatishead, Norfolk, saw Hackfu enthusiasts pack out it's control rooms in 2013. With historic items, masses of history and the control room that was at the front line of defence during the Cold War, it was a real treat to be able to spend 48 hours in a location like this.
In 2012 HackFu was taken to East Anglia where we took over part of an old RAF base to investigate an incident on our 'moon colony'. The buildings that the contestants were located in were actually used in Channel 4 TV series Space Cadets. The main building being used was known as the Star Wars building and was the perfect place to direct the teams operations in space.