Hivestorm is a collegiate-focused cyber defense competition. Teams compete by securing provided Windows and Linux based virtual machines – removing malware and other infections, correcting misconfigurations, mitigating vulnerabilities, disabling vulnerable services, and so on. Teams accumulate points for addressing each scored issue and must race against the clock to accumulate as many points as they can before time expires.
At the beginning of Hivestorm events, teams are provided with a set of virtual machines each worth 100 points. To score points, teams must address the security related issues on each of those virtual machines. Teams may need to find and remove a persistent threat, correct permissions on the root directory of a webserver, or restrict remote access to the Windows Registry. Team actions are scored in near real-time by automated agents providing direct feedback to competitors for both positive actions (that accumulate points) and negative actions (that result in penalties and a loss of points).
Benefits for Competitors
Hivestorm provides an excellent opportunity for teams to practice security, forensic, configuration, and system administration tasks. The defensive and administration skills developed and exercised in Hivestorm help prepare students for other events such as the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition or Panoply.