DC31 CTF details

July 30, 2023


Date: August 12th, 2023

Time: 10:30am to 2:30pm Pacific Standard Time (Las Vegas local time)

Cost: Free

Attendance Required: No. Contestants can be in-person or virtual

‍# of Tickets Available: TBD

Platform: https://searchparty.tracelabs.org

Registration: Registration will be either in person at the DEF CON contest area or via Eventbrite. Details below

Communications: All communications between judges and contestants will happen via Discord. https://tracelabs.org/discord

Training Materials:

Platform Demo

Contestant Briefing

Contestant Guide

Trace Labs OSINT Field Manual


What is a Search Party CTF?

For a more detailed breakdown of how our CTFs work. Check out the dedicated page on our website along with the accompanying Contestant and Judge guides.


How do I sign up for the CTF?

We’re excited to see you all live. With that being said, preference, or “first dibs”, will be given to in-person sign ups.

The Trace Labs team will be live in the DEF CON contest area on Friday August 11th conducting in-person signups. We’ll have a table where you can stop by to get your registration code (and free swag!) that will act as your “ticket” to compete in the CTF

On Friday evening ( 5:00pm Las Vegas time) we will release the remaining tickets via our Eventbrite page.


Once you have your registration code (either from in-person signup or virtually through Eventbrite) the process of getting on the CTF platform will flow as it always has. Please see our training playlist for more information:


How do I dispute a decision from my judge?

The success of this CTF revolves around communication. Please see the #announcement section of our Discord for detailed insructions on setting up comms with your. judge. Be patient with your judges. We are all volunteers and they will have multiple teams. The nature of this CTF introduces an element of subjectivity. Don't lose site of the overall mission. The points are secondary to the intelligence we are collecting.

What do I need to do before the event?

Before the event, you'll need to watch our recorded Contestant Briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYdQIiMzRlI

Set up and test your sock puppet accounts

Familiarize yourself with the updated contestant guide <updated version will drop the week of the event>

What if my team is a mix of in-person and virtual?

The section above still applies. Only one registration code will be given out per person during in-person signups. If part of your team is virtual, they’ll have to take their chances getting a remaining ticket via Eventbrite that evening.

Do I need a team to compete?

No. You can compete solo or on a team of up to 4 people.

How do I get a team together?

The details of creating or joining a team on our CTF platform can be found in our training playlist:


As for actually finding people to compete with…this will be up to you. Closer to the event, we’ll stand up a dedicated match making channel in our Discord server but we don’t have a formal mechanism to “match” people up with a team to compete with.

Are there prizes?  

Working that out now. Will update here once confirmed.

How else can I get involved?

The contest depends on volunteer “judges” vetting the intel coming in real time. Without these volunteers we wouldn’t be able to host these events. This is a great way to sharpen your OSINT skills and network within our community. We'll post a link for volunteer judge signups here by 7/31/2023

The call for Judges is now live! You can get signed with the form below. We'll be communicating with the judge team via email initially and will add roles and channels in our Discord by the beginning of DEF CON week.



New to OSINT? Where to begin?

Trace Labs Discord: https://tracelabs.org/discord

Trace Labs Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/TraceLabsVideos

A free course on People OSINT from Joe Gray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EePeB9A2ZAk

Google: Seriously. Just type “OSINT” into your search engine and see what pops up. Other helpful search terms could include: “SOCMINT”, “Sock Puppet Account”, “People OSINT” and “Open Source Intelligence”

Github “Awesome OSINT” repo: https://github.com/jivoi/awesome-osint

OSINT resources from _OhShint: https://ohshint.gitbook.io/oh-shint-its-a-blog/

OSINT resources from Belouve: https://github.com/belouve/osint-resource

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