event coverage

Booz Allen Hamilton’s Kaizen (and their hacker’s Dojo)

This year's Kaizen, a capture-the-flag event sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, has a winner: congratulations to Aaron Lint, Vice President of Research, Arxan, who placed first. He told us he learns something new every time he plays.

We asked how challenging he found the Kaizen. “I've done a lot of these. I actually make challenges,” he said. “I always find it interesting that there is something new and that you learn something new every time. that is why keeping fresh with these skills is really important.” He thought it important that the Kaizen was “about practical attacks on software, not the sophisticated, crazy hacks.”

Lint is a repeat player—this is his first win—and he thinks capture-the-flag competitions are a safe place to learn. He recommends them.

Booz Allen's Dark Labs explains that the Kaizen started as an internal training exercise. (The name "Kaizen" is an allusion to the traditional Japanese theme of traditional improvement of self.) Booz Allen Hamilton ran it this year in traditional Jeopardy style, and some of the challenges, inevitably, involve Pokemon-GO, spoofing a Meowth capture. They also ran a hacker dojo in conjunction with the Kaizen—they'd piloted the dojo internally, and decided to bring it to Black Hat this year.