Cyber Fire Puzzles

Puzzle-based training and recruiting events

Puzzle-based training for a wide range of audiences.

Cyber Fire Puzzles is a drop-in or dedicated contest-style event suitable for a wide range of abilities and expertise.

While the bulk of our events are run at colleges, they are also very popular at the middle school and high school levels, as well as at professional events such as cybersecurity conferences.

Participants work through puzzles in a number of categories selected by staff to target the attendees and duration of the event. Staff then help participants one-on-one with whatever each participant encounters as a sticking point in their personal (or team) progress through our content.

Puzzle categories cover computer forensics, cryptography, mathematics, general computer science, mathematics, and more.


Puzzles events work best in rooms where participants can work together. We’ve run in classrooms, banquet halls, and computer labs.

Each participant needs:

  • A computer (many participants bring their own)
  • Someplace to plug a computer in if the battery won’t last for the whole event
  • A place to sit down
  • Scratch paper and a pen or pencil
  • Restroom and drinking water access

We need:

  • A projector
  • A computer with a web browser (we can bring our own)


Puzzles events typically run between 4 and 16 hours, although we have run events as short as 2 hours, and as long as 5 days.


We have run for groups from twenty (20) to six hundred (600). Groups under 40 can be run by a single staff member.

Cost: Free!

Puzzles events are part of DOE’s cybersecurity talent pipeline. We are funded run a number of puzzles events throughout the year at no cost to hosting institutions.


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Looking for similar events?

CyberForce Competition, one of our sister events, gives college students a more in-depth attack/defend contest that runs nationwide.

CyberForce Site

Past and Future Events

College of DuPage
2020 Mar 7 to Mar 7 : Glen Ellyn, IL
Auburn University
2020 Feb 22 to Feb 23 : Auburn, Alabama
College of DuPage
2019 Nov 25 to Nov 25 : Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Federal Cyber Fire Puzzle Challenge
2019 Oct 10 to Oct 13
Zia CTF A DOE Cyber Fire Collegiate Puzzle CTF
2019 Sep 14 to Sep 16 : Online
City Colleges of Chicago Puzzles
2019 Jul 9 to Jul 9 : Chicago, Illinois
Puzzles Augusta 2019
2019 Mar 7 to Mar 9 : Augusta, Georgia