Federal Cyber Fire Puzzle Challenge

Oct 10 - Oct 13, 2019

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Event Location


Event Details

Who: All Federal government employees and contractors with a “.gov” or “.mil” email address.

When: October 10th 11:00am US/Eastern through 3:00pm US/Eastern October 11th

Where: Virtual

Cost: Free to participate

Purpose: Build technical skills for cyber incident response and collaborate with others in the field to expand your network within the cybersecurity community.

Skill level: This event is designed for entry level through advanced cybersecurity professionals. The puzzles are in escalating difficulty.

Participation: Teams will consist of 1 - 10 people. Participants are welcome to form their own teams. The Cyber Fire team will open a public Mattermost channel (similar to Slack) for participants to coordinate their teams.

Requirements: Participants will need a laptop, internet connection, and modern web browser (no older than Chrome 74, Firefox 66, Safari 12, or Edge 18). Participants will not be able to use Internet Explorer.


Upon registering, participants will receive a YouTube video with more information on rules, expectations, and samples of past puzzles.

The competition will kick off at 11am US/Eastern on October 10th and end at 3pm US/Eastern on October 11th. Participants will be able to choose when they want to log onto the DOE Cyber Fire puzzle server and work on the puzzles, anytime while the puzzle server is open.

The DOE Cyber Fire team will use Mattermost as the primary communication during the event. Each participant will be sent an invite to set up an account prior to the event. Participants will be able to form private channels in Mattermost with their team members to communicate and collaborate before, during, and after the event.

Puzzles will cover the following technical areas:

  • Malware analysis

  • Network Archaeology and network forensics

  • Host forensics

  • Cyber incident coordination

Most puzzles will focus on traditional IT networks, with some specialized puzzles focusing on operational technology (OT) and ICS systems.

At 3pm US/Eastern on October 11th the Cyber Fire team will close the puzzle server and review the scores. The following morning, the winners and final scoreboard will be posted and sent to all participants.

How to register:

Email cyberfire@hq.doe.gov with the following information:

  • Name

  • Title

  • Organization

  • Email

  • Phone

  • Federal employee or contractor?

  • If a contractor, which agency do you support?

  • Preferred team name and other members on your team (names and email addresses)

For clarity, teams are encouraged to send one email with all team member’s information.

For questions about the event, email cyberfire@hq.doe.gov