Google Capture the Flag 2017
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017

Google has announced a Capture the Flag contest with an online qualification round lasting 48 hours taking place on June 17th and 18th. The top ten finalist teams will be invited to Google to compete onsite for a prize pool of $31,337.



This is the second CTF Google has run alongside its established Vulnerability Reward program. The announcement of the 2017 contest explains that the challenges included in the contest allows Google to:

share with the world the types of problems our security team works on every day.

The post outlines three reasons for running this type of competition:

  1. Give people who solve a single challenge or two in a very clever way a chance to teach us and the security community

  2. Engage the broader security community and reach out to as many people involved as possible

  3. Grow the security community

Josh Armour, Google's Security Program Manager writes:

Upon observing how last year's competition engaged new players from all over the world, we want to continue to create a safe space for people to come and learn while trying to solve challenges and having fun. Our internal security team employs several people who actively compete in CTF competitions in their spare time, so we value this activity and want to give back to and help grow our community.

The contest, which is open to those aged at least 18 or age of majority in country of residence across the world with the usual exceptions of f Brazil, Quebec, Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Crimea. For the full rules go to

It has two stages the online qualification round from which  finalists will be selected to compete in another exercise that will be held on-site at a Google office. For this event 4 members of each of the top 10 teams will be flown at Google's expense.

There are two ways for participants to achieve rewards from the challenges set in the qualification round:

  • Submitting written challenge solution descriptions ("write-ups").
    Google will select 21 of the best submissions and
    give them a reward of $100 per write-up. In addition 11 of the most creative solutions will gain a reward of $500 per write-up.

  • Earning points for solving challenges within the Contest time period teams earning the most points will qualify to participate in a final round contest where the following cash awards will be made to the winners

1st  $13,337 USD
2nd $7,331 USD
3rd  $3,133.7 USD


Over 2,400 teams took part in last year's first annual Capture the Flag contest and 900 were able to solve at least one of the challenges. The accumulation of points by the top 10 teams was as shown in this timeline and the event was won by a team called Pasten from Israel, which earned over 4,700 points:


(click in chart for larger version)


You can see the full scoreboard for teams that solved at least one challenge in the 2016 contest on CTF Time, where you can also read write ups of its challenges.



More Information

Announcing Google Capture the Flag 2017

Google Vulnerability Reward Program

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 June 2017 )