US Air Force & Space Force Present Hack-A-Sat 2 Competition

Image courtesy of Space Systems Command
Image courtesy of Space Systems Command

Published Dec 9, 2021 1:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By: Space Systems Command]

As our lives become increasingly dependent on technologies that lie deep in space, it is imperative that we do what it takes to secure our universe. The United States Air Force and United States Space Force jointly present Hack-A-Sat 2, a prize competition designed to inspire the world’s top cybersecurity talent to develop the skills necessary to help reduce vulnerabilities and build more secure space systems.

After a successful Hack-A-Sat 1 in 2020, Hack-A-Sat 2 began with an open, virtual and public qualification round on June 26, 2021. The 30-hour virtual competition attracted over 1,000 teams made up of nearly 3,000 competitors from more than 75 countries. The qualification round consisted of 24 total challenges across 5 challenge categories that focused on a variety of different skill sets, including satellite operations, reverse engineering and radio frequency (RF) communications. For more details, review the Rules document.

The winning team from Hack-A-Sat 1 along with the top seven teams from this year’s Hack-A-Sat 2 qualification round will compete in the Hack-A-Sat 2 Final Event, a virtual Capture-the-Flag (CTF) event on Dec. 11-12, 2021. For more information on the eight finalist teams: Team videos. The event will be produced in person but teams and viewers will all be virtual.

The eight finalist teams consist of some of the world’s best security researchers and experts in both cyber and space domains, including vulnerability research, astrophysics, satellite operations and reverse engineering.

Prizes are as follows:

1st place: $50K

2nd place: $30K

3rd place: $20K

We’d be honored to have you join us for one or both of our Virtual Press Conferences. Please ensure you register at the links below for whichever press roundtable you would like to participate in. There is space available to provide advance questions you might have. Please note that we will answer pre-submitted questions from as many reporters as possible before moving into live questions and answers. Should we run out of time before all questions are answered, your questions will be responded to in writing after the event. More information about the Hack-A-Sat 2 final competition is attached. After you register, you will receive a ZoomGov link to join the events listed below. We look forward to joining you!

Friday Dec 10th @ 10 - 10:30 a.m. PST / 1 - 1:30 p.m. EST.

Pre-Final Event press roundtable Q&A with leadership remarks from:

  • Col. Rhett Turnbull, Director of Cross Mission Ground Communications Enterprise, Space Systems Command
  • DeliaRae Jesaitis, Hack-A-Sat Program Manager, Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate
  • Captain Elijha Williams, Space Security Challenge Program Manager, Space Systems Command, U.S. Space Force

Sunday Dec 12th @ 1:30 - 2 p.m. PST / 4:30 - 5 p.m. EST.

Post-Final Event press roundtable Q&A with Hack-A-Sat program managers:

• Stephen Colenzo, Office of Research and Technology Applications, Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate

• Capt. Aaron Bolen, Experimentation Lead, Special Programs Directorate, Space Systems Command, U.S. Space Force our capabilities in space domain

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