• Who We Are
        • Learn more about MITRE Engenuity’s journey as a hub for transformative innovation.

        • How We Engage
        • We forge innovative partnerships to generate whole-of-nation solutions to complex technological problems.

        • Contact Us
        • Connect with a member of the MITRE Engenuity team and ensure your inquiry gets to the right people.

        • Cybersecurity
        • We are relentlessly advancing the art of threat-informed defense, anchored by a belief that we can improve our defenses with a systemic application of a deep understanding of adversary tradecraft and technology.

        • ATT&CK Evaluations
        • We offer objective analysis of cyber products and features – see our latest results.

        • Center for Threat-Informed Defense
        • Read more about the cutting-edge research and development being done with input from our participant organizations, featuring some of the top security operations centers.

        • Developing tomorrow's cyber workforce today.
        • News & Insights
        • We are leading the leading edge of innovation. Explore the latest news, insights, R&D, and special projects from our advanced tech experts and partners.

        • Subscribe to Our Newsletters
        • Our tech foundation is addressing the complex problems that face our nation today. Find out how you can join our efforts as we spur innovation for public good.


Embedded Capture the Flag Kicks Off

The 2023 Challenge has begun!

The annual MITRE Embedded Capture the Flag (eCTF) competition kicked off this week, beginning a semester long challenge that puts the future cyber workforce to the test: we task participants with not only developing security systems, but also immediately battle testing their work. Aside from being lively and engaging, this work is increasingly relevant, the embedded systems at the heart of the competition are becoming present in more and more devices found in everyday use.

A Unique Opportunity

The eCTF competition is highly effective because of its distinctive phases. After an initial system development phase, teams switch gears and attack other teams’ systems. Mistakes made in development are revealed and exploited by the attacks of others. Getting a chance to play both defense and offense creates a unique learning environment that inspires creativity, strategic thinking, and a rapid honing of cyber expertise. More than just an enjoyable enterprise, the competition is beneficial to students in both the short and long term. Students have fun (with many schools offering course credit for participation) and gain new skills, while also forming relationships that may lead to enhanced career opportunities. To bolster the value for students and because of our continued focus on workforce development, we have introduced corporate sponsors to this year’s competition. This creates opportunities for students to engage with leading companies in embedded systems and cybersecurity.

Broad Reach into the Future Workforce

Since its inception, the eCTF competition has realized more than 100% year over year growth in the number of teams participating and the roster of eCTF participants continues to grow. Registrant teams include dozens of universities (listed below), as well as multiple career centers, high schools and extracurricular programs. Our registrants expand far beyond the US, with representatives from countries such as India, Singapore, Scotland and the Netherlands. At an individual level, participating students are:

  • 7% high schoolers
  • 48% underclassman
  • 23% graduating seniors
  • 23% graduate students

All of the competitors are studying highly relevant tech curriculums with

  • 43% in computer science
  • 26% in cyber security
  • 23% in electrical and computer engineering

Sponsoring the Future With electrical engineering, computer science, and cybersecurity roles becoming increasingly critical in the face of global strategic competition, bolstering interest and opportunities for our future workforce is vital. This year’s program offers sponsors access to the participating students, giving the students early exposure to potential careers and giving top companies a rare look at talent in action. While the eCTF sponsorship program’s top tier quickly sold out, there are additional opportunities available for companies to get involved this semester here. Current sponsors include Fortinet, CrowdStrike, Analog Devices, Boston Cybernetics Institute, and Rambus.

Making a Difference

The eCTF competition is a great way to enhance workforce development in the field of embedded systems security as our reliance on microchips for daily use continues to grow. It’s also a great way to understand the value of this competition is to hear directly from past participants themselves. You can learn more from Ben Janis, a former participant who connected with MITRE through eCTF and is now a part of the team running the competition, as he shares his participant experience in this post.

This year the eCTF’s focus is on how to protect a key fob for car door lock.

  1.  Air Force Institute of Technology
  2. AJ College of Science and Technology
  3. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University
  4. Baldwin Wallace University
  5. BASIS Chandler
  6. Carnegie Mellon University
  7. Center I (Albemarle County Public Schools)
  8. Clarendon High School
  9. Clemson University
  10. Delaware Area Career Center
  11. Eastern Florida State College
  12. Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School
  13. Farmington High School
  14. Florida Atlantic University
  15. Florida International University
  16. Georgia Institute of Technology
  17. Hanze University of Applied Sciences
  18. Harmony Science Academy
  19. Huntsville City Schools Cyber Academy
  20. Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  21. Indiana Institute of Technology
  22. Independent School District 196
  23. Johns Hopkins University
  24. Kilgore College
  25. Lakota East High School
  26. Louisiana State University
  27. Marriotts Ridge High School
  28. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  29. Michigan State University
  30. Morgan State University
  31. Mount Saint Dominic Academy
  32. New Century Technology High School
  33. New York University
  34. Norfolk State University
  35. North Carolina State University
  36. Northern Virginia Community College
  37. Nova Southeastern University
  38. Parkway Spark!
  39. Penn State Abington
  40. Purdue University
  41. River Hill High School
  42. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  43. Searcy High School
  44. Singapore Management University
  45. Springfield-Clark County CTC
  46. SRM Institute of Science and Technology
  47. Symbiosis Institute of Technology
  48. Texas A&M University
  49. Thadomal Shahani Engineering College
  50. The Harker School
  51. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
  52. Tufts University
  53. United States Military Academy
  54. University at Buffalo
  55. University of Alabama in Huntsville
  56. University of Arizona
  57. University of California Irvine
  58. University of California Santa Cruz
  59. University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  60. University of Connecticut
  61. University of Dayton
  62. University of Edinburgh
  63. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  64. University of Maryland College Park
  65. University of Massachusetts Amherst
  66. University of New Hampshire
  67. University of New Haven
  68. University of North Dakota
  69. University of Texas at Arlington
  70. University of Texas at Dallas
  71. University of Washington
  72. University of Wyoming
  73. US Air Force Academy
  74. Virginia State University
  75. Virginia Tech
  76. Wellington High School
  77. West Virginia University
  78. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  79. Xavier University
  80. Zambia University College of Technology

© 2023 MITRE Engenuity, LLC. Approved for Public Release. Document number ME0056