The Gold Gang Of Saptang Lab’s Network Security Hackathon

The Inter IIT Tech Meet is held annually among the 23 IITs. This event gives an insight into the real world of technology, wherein participants get to have a hands-on experience by solving the problem statements presented to them by some of the best organizations of this era. All the IITs send their best lot every year. We can well imagine the heat of the competition. The Tech Meet not only includes case studies but other events like Engineer’s Conclave (EC) and Students’ Academic Conference where students get a chance to exhibit their projects to some of the best researchers in their particular fields. This year the problem statements were presented by organizations like Bosch, DRDO, ISRO, etc.

The Meet is broadly divided into three parts:

  1. High prep events: Month-long events worth 400 points each.

2. Medium prep problem statements: Few weeks-long events worth 250 points each.

3. Low prep problem Statements: Week-long events, 150 points each.

This year, IIT Kharagpur won the bronze medal in the 9th Inter IIT Tech Meet which was hosted by IIT Guwahati from 26th-28th March 2021. This accomplishment was brought about by several teams participating in different events across these three days.

Saptang Labs organized a low prep event namely the Network Security Hackathon wherein the participants gain experience of the real-world vulnerabilities and tasked them with working on the vulnerability to simulate the environment and reproduce the vulnerability exploitation. The challenges presented to the team of participants consisted of CVE numbers and the team was expected to read and understand the vulnerability before setting up an environment to test and develop a PoC exploit.

The team from IIT Kharagpur was successful in grabbing the gold medal for this event. This vast team was headed by Vipul Ujjawane which consisted of 5 official members and was assisted by two supporting members. The preparation for this event took a relatively short period. The event was announced on Monday and by Tuesday the team was ready. The first two days mainly focused on getting the environment ready and the completion of the attack strategy. The work on the final documentation started on the last day.

The team had already participated in the previous Inter IIT Tech Meets and had a good background in CTF (Capture The Flag contests designed to challenge participants to solve computer security problems and capture and defend computer systems).

The low prep events generally face major challenges in some areas. The teams have to be formed in a very short time which poses a challenge of filtering out the people best suited for the job. Still, by virtue of the efforts put in by the team leaders, and the hard work of all the contingent members, the teams were able to perform spectacularly well.

A good communication network was established by the two support members for guiding the team members to tackle the issues faced by them. The inputs from tech teams proved to be quite helpful. Mock presentations were conducted to prepare for the final event since presentation skills matter a lot at virtual events. These things contributed to the team’s success at the event.

Here’s what Contingent Leader Vipul Ujawane had to say to his juniors attempting to participate in future Inter IIT Tech Meets -

“It was an InfoSec event geared toward’s exploitation. So, one needs to have some experience doing that, and CTF’s definitely help in this regard”.

The Scholar’s Avenue congratulates the team for their success and wishes them all the best in their future endeavors.

The Student-run media body of IIT-Kharagpur