CTF help

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A curated list of Capture The Flag (CTF) frameworks, libraries, resources, software and tutorials. This list aims to help starters as well as seasoned CTF players to find everything related to CTFs in one place.

It takes time to build up a collection of tools used in CTF and remember them all. This repo helps to keep all these scattered tools in one place.


Tools used for creating CTF challenges


Tools used for creating Forensics challenges


Projects that can be used to host a CTF

  • CTFd – Platform to host Jeopardy-style CTFs from ISISLab, NYU Tandon.
  • echoCTF.RED – Develop, deploy and maintain your own CTF infrastructure.
  • FBCTF – Platform to host Capture the Flag competitions from Facebook.
  • Haaukins– A Highly Accessible and Automated Virtualization Platform for Security Education.
  • HackTheArch – CTF scoring platform.
  • Mellivora – A CTF engine written in PHP.
  • MotherFucking-CTF – Badass lightweight platform to host CTFs. No JS is involved.
  • NightShade – A simple security CTF framework.
  • OpenCTF – CTF in a box. Minimal setup required.
  • PicoCTF – The platform used to run picoCTF. A great framework to host any CTF.
  • PyChallFactory – Small framework to create/manage/package jeopardy CTF challenges.
  • RootTheBox – A Game of Hackers (CTF Scoreboard & Game Manager).
  • Scorebot – Platform for CTFs by Legitbs (Defcon).
  • SecGen – Security Scenario Generator. Creates randomly vulnerable virtual machines.


Tools used to create stego challenges

Check to solve the section for steganography.


Tools used for creating Web challenges

JavaScript Obfuscator


Tools used for solving CTF challenges


Tools used for performing various kinds of attacks

  • Bettercap – Framework to perform MITM (Man in the Middle) attacks.
  • Yersinia – Attack various protocols on layer 2.


Tools used for solving Crypto challenges

  • CyberChef – Web app for analysing and decoding data.
  • FeatherDuster – An automated, modular cryptanalysis tool.
  • Hash Extender – A utility tool for performing hash length extension attacks.
  • padding-oracle-attacker – A CLI tool to execute padding oracle attacks.
  • PkCrack – A tool for Breaking PkZip-encryption.
  • QuipQuip – An online tool for breaking substitution ciphers or vigenere ciphers (without key).
  • RSACTFTool – A tool for recovering RSA private key with various attack.
  • RSATool – Generate private key with knowledge of p and q.
  • XORTool – A tool to analyze multi-byte xor cipher.


Tools used for various kinds of brute-forcing (passwords etc.)

  • Hashcat – Password Cracker
  • Hydra – A parallelized login cracker which supports numerous protocols to attack
  • John The Jumbo – Community-enhanced version of John the Ripper.
  • John The Ripper – Password Cracker.
  • Nozzlr – Nozzlr is a brute-force framework, truly modular and script-friendly.
  • Ophcrack – Windows password cracker based on rainbow tables.
  • Patator – Patator is a multi-purpose brute forcer, with a modular design.
  • Turbo Intruder – Burp Suite extension for sending large numbers of HTTP requests


Tools used for solving Exploits challenges

  • DLLInjector – Inject DLLs in processes.
  • libformatstr – Simplify format string exploitation.
  • Metasploit – Penetration testing software.
  • one_gadget – A tool to find the one gadget execve('/bin/sh', NULL, NULL) call.
    • gem install one_gadget
  • Pwntools – CTF Framework for writing exploits.
  • Qira – QEMU Interactive Runtime Analyser.
  • ROP Gadget – Framework for ROP exploitation.
  • V0lt – Security CTF Toolkit.


Tools used for solving Forensics challenges

  • Aircrack-Ng – Crack 802.11 WEP and WPA-PSK keys.
    • apt-get install aircrack-ng
  • Audacity – Analyze sound files (mp3, m4a, whatever).
    • apt-get install audacity
  • Bkhive and Samdump2 – Dump SYSTEM and SAM files.
    • apt-get install samdump2 bkhive
  • CFF Explorer – PE Editor.
  • Creddump – Dump windows credentials.
  • DVCS Ripper – Rips web-accessible (distributed) version control systems.
  • Exif Tool – Read, write and edit file metadata.
  • Extundelete – Used for recovering lost data from mountable images.
  • Fibratus – Tool for exploration and tracing of the Windows kernel.
  • Foremost – Extract particular kinds of files using headers.
    • apt-get install foremost
  • Fsck.ext4 – Used to fix corrupt filesystems.
  • Malzilla – Malware hunting tool.
  • NetworkMiner – Network Forensic Analysis Tool.
  • PDF Streams Inflater – Find and extract zip files compressed in PDF files.
  • Pngcheck – Verifies the integrity of PNG and dumps all of the chunk-level information in human-readable form.
    • apt-get install pngcheck
  • ResourcesExtract – Extract various file types from exes.
  • Shellbags – Investigate NT_USER.dat files.
  • Snow – A Whitespace Steganography Tool.
  • USBRip – Simple CLI forensics tool for tracking USB device artefacts (history of USB events) on GNU/Linux.
  • Volatility – To investigate memory dumps.
  • Wireshark – Used to analyze pcap or pcapng files

Registry Viewers

  • OfflineRegistryView – Simple tool for Windows allows you to read offline Registry files from an external drive and view the desired Registry key in .reg file format.
  • Registry Viewer® – Used to view Windows registries.


Tools used for solving Networking challenges

  • Masscan – Mass IP port scanner, TCP port scanner.
  • Monit – A Linux tool to check a host on the network (and other non-network activities).
  • Nipe – Nipe is a script to make Tor Network your default gateway.
  • Nmap – An open-source utility for network discovery and security auditing.
  • Wireshark – Analyze the network dumps.
    • apt-get install wireshark
  • Zeek – An open-source network security monitor.
  • Zmap – An open-source network scanner.


Tools used for solving Reversing challenges

  • Androguard – Reverse engineer Android applications.
  • Angr – platform-agnostic binary analysis framework.
  • Apk2Gold – Yet another Android decompiler.
  • ApkTool – Android Decompiler.
  • Barf – Binary Analysis and Reverse engineering Framework.
  • Binary Ninja – Binary analysis framework.
  • BinUtils – Collection of binary tools.
  • BinWalk – Analyze, reverse engineer, and extracting firmware images.
  • Boomerang – Decompile x86/SPARC/PowerPC/ST-20 binaries to C.
  • ctf_import – run basic functions from stripped binaries cross-platform.
  • cwe_checker – cwe_checker finds vulnerable patterns in binary executables.
  • demovfuscator – A work-in-progress deobfuscator for obfuscated binaries.
  • Frida – Dynamic Code Injection.
  • GDB – The GNU project debugger.
  • GEF – GDB plugin.
  • Ghidra – Open Source suite of reverse engineering tools. Similar to IDA Pro.
  • Hopper – Reverse engineering tool (disassembler) for OSX and Linux.
  • IDA Pro – Most used Reversing software.
  • Jadx – Decompile Android files.
  • Java Decompilers – An online decompiler for Java and Android APKs.
  • Krakatau – Java decompiler and disassembler.
  • Objection – Runtime Mobile Exploration.
  • PEDA – GDB plugin (only python2.7).
  • Pin – A dynamic binary instrumentation tool by Intel.
  • PINCE – GDB front-end/reverse engineering tool, focused on game-hacking and automation.
  • PinCTF – A tool which uses intel pin for Side Channel Analysis.
  • Plasma – An interactive disassembler for x86/ARM/MIPS which can generate indented pseudo-code with coloured syntax.
  • Pwndbg – A GDB plugin that provides a suite of utilities to hack around GDB easily.
  • radare2 – A portable reversing framework.
  • Triton – Dynamic Binary Analysis (DBA) framework.
  • Uncompyle – Decompile Python 2.7 binaries (.pyc).
  • WinDbg – Windows debugger distributed by Microsoft.
  • Xocopy – Program that can copy executables with execute, but no read permission.
  • Z3 – A theorem prover from Microsoft Research.

JavaScript Deobfuscators

  • Detox – A Javascript malware analysis tool.
  • Revelo – Analyze obfuscated Javascript code.

SWF Analyzers

  • RABCDAsm – Collection of utilities including an ActionScript 3 assembler/disassembler.
  • Swftools – Collection of utilities to work with SWF files.
  • Xxxswf – A Python script for analyzing Flash files.


Various kind of useful services available around the internet

  • CSWSH – Cross-Site WebSocket Hijacking Tester.
  • Request Bin – Lets you inspect http requests to a particular url.


Tools used for solving Steganography challenges

  • AperiSolve – Aperi’Solve is a platform which performs layer analysis on images (open-source).
  • Convert – Convert images b/w formats and apply filters.
  • Exif – Shows EXIF information in JPEG files.
  • Exiftool – Read and write meta information in files.
  • Exiv2 – Image metadata manipulation tool.
  • Image Steganography – Embeds text and files in images with optional encryption. Easy-to-use UI.
  • Image Steganography Online – This is a client-side Javascript tool to steganographically hide images inside the lower “bits” of other images
  • ImageMagick – Tool for manipulating images.
  • Outguess – Universal steganographic tool.
  • Pngtools – For various analyses related to PNGs.
    • apt-get install pngtools
  • SmartDeblur – Used to deblur and fix defocused images.
  • Steganabara – Tool for stegano analysis written in Java.
  • SteganographyOnline – Online steganography encoder and decoder.
  • Stegbreak – Launches brute-force dictionary attacks on JPG image.
  • StegCracker – Steganography brute-force utility to uncover hidden data inside files.
  • stegextract – Detect hidden files and text in images.
  • Steghide – Hide data in various kind of images.
  • StegOnline – Conduct a wide range of image steganography operations, such as concealing/revealing files hidden within bits (open-source).
  • Stegsolve – Apply various steganography techniques to images.
  • Zsteg – PNG/BMP analysis.


Tools used for solving Web challenges

  • BurpSuite – A graphical tool to testing website security.
  • Commix – Automated All-in-One OS Command Injection and Exploitation Tool.
  • Hackbar – Firefox addon for easy web exploitation.
  • OWASP ZAP – Intercepting proxy to replay, debug, and fuzz HTTP requests and responses
  • Postman – Add on for chrome for debugging network requests.
  • Raccoon – A high-performance offensive security tool for reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning.
  • SQLMap – Automatic SQL injection and database takeover tool. pip install sqlmap
  • W3af – Web Application Attack and Audit Framework.
  • XSSer – Automated XSS tester.

Cheatsheets used for solving or creating Web challenges


Where to discover about CTF

Operating Systems

Penetration testing and security lab Operating Systems

Malware analysts and reverse-engineering

Starter Packs

Collections of installer scripts, useful tools

  • CTF Tools – Collection of setup scripts to install various security research tools.
  • LazyKali – A 2016 refresh of LazyKali which simplifies installation of tools and configuration.


Tutorials to learn how to play CTFs


Always online CTFs

  • 247ctf – A learning-oriented real CTF platform with challenges covering across web, cryptography, networking, reversing and exploitation.
  • Backdoor – Security Platform by SDSLabs.
  • buuoj – A CTF training platform with challenges collected from the past real CTF contests around the world. (in Chinese)
  • Crackmes – Reverse Engineering Challenges.
  • CryptoHack – Fun cryptography challenges.
  • echoCTF.RED – Online CTF with a variety of targets to attack.
  • Exploit Exercises – Variety of VMs to learn variety of computer security issues.
  • Exploit.Education – Variety of VMs to learn variety of computer security issues.
  • Gracker – Binary challenges having a slow learning curve, and write-ups for each level.
  • Hack The Box – Weekly CTFs for all types of security enthusiasts.
  • Hack This Site – Training ground for hackers.
  • Hacker101 – CTF from HackerOne
  • Hacking-Lab – Ethical hacking, computer network and security challenge platform.
  • Hone Your Ninja Skills – Web challenges starting from basic ones.
  • IO – Wargame for binary challenges.
  • jarvisoj – A CTF training platform developed by Jarvis from USSLab in ZJU.
  • Microcorruption – Embedded security CTF.
  • Over The Wire – Wargame maintained by OvertheWire Community.
  • PentesterLab – Variety of VM and online challenges (paid).
  • PicoCTF – All year round ctf game. Questions from the yearly picoCTF competition.
  • PWN Challenge – Binary Exploitation Wargame.
  • Pwnable.kr – Pwn Game.
  • Pwnable.tw – Binary wargame.
  • Pwnable.xyz – Binary Exploitation Wargame.
  • Reversin.kr – Reversing challenge.
  • Ringzer0Team – Ringzer0 Team Online CTF.
  • Root-Me – Hacking and Information Security learning platform.
  • ROP Wargames – ROP Wargames.
  • SANS HHC – Challenges with a holiday theme released annually and maintained by SANS.
  • SmashTheStack – A variety of wargames maintained by the SmashTheStack Community.
  • Viblo CTF – Various amazing CTF challenges, in many different categories. Has both Practice mode and Contest mode.
  • VulnHub – VM-based for practical in digital security, computer application & network administration.
  • W3Challs – A penetration testing training platform, which offers various computer challenges, in various categories.
  • WebHacking – Hacking challenges for web.

Self-hosted CTFs

  • CTFTraining – CTF challenge’s source code, writeup collected from the past real CTF contests around the world. (in Chinese)
  • My CTF Web Challenges – CTF challenge’s source code, writeup and some idea explanation. All about Web.
  • Pikachu – PHP web application with some common delibrated vulnerabilities. (in Chinese)


Various general websites about and on CTF


Various Wikis available for learning about CTFs

Writeups Collections

Collections of CTF write-ups

  • 0e85dc6eaf – Write-ups for CTF challenges by 0e85dc6eaf
  • Captf – Dumped CTF challenges and materials by psifertex.
  • CTF write-ups (community) – CTF challenges + write-ups archive maintained by the community.
  • CTFTime Scrapper – Scraps all writeup from CTF Time and organize which to read first.
  • HackThisSite – CTF write-ups repo maintained by HackThisSite team.
  • Mzfr – CTF competition write-ups by mzfr
  • pwntools writeups – A collection of CTF write-ups all using pwntools.
  • SababaSec – A collection of CTF write-ups by the SababaSec team
  • Shell Storm – CTF challenge archive maintained by Jonathan Salwan.
  • Smoke Leet Everyday – CTF write-ups repo maintained by SmokeLeetEveryday team.

Keywords to explore

Dont’ forget to translate these Keywords into your Native language

  • tips – ex: exploit tips php / exploit tips java / exploit tips python
  • tricks
  • cheatsheet – ex: php security cheatsheet
  • checklist – ex: php security checklist
  • bypass – ex: bypass WAF / bypass sql injection prevention
  • vulnerability database – find known vulnerabilities related to challenge’s runtime
  • Feature Keywords in CTF challenges – find known or similar challenges and writeups

Deliberated Vulnerable App


  • CSPF-Founder/JavaVulnerableLab – this app is intended for the Java Programmers and other people who wish to learn about Web application vulnerabilities and write secure code
  • find-sec-bugs/juliet-test-suite – a collection of test cases in the Java language. It contains examples for 112 different CWEs.
  • Web Goat – a deliberately insecure web application maintained by OWASP designed to teach web application security lessons




  • DVNA – a Damn Vulnerable NodeJS Application which is powered by commonly used libraries such as express, passport, sequelize, etc.
  • Juice Shop CTF – Scripts and tools for hosting a CTF on OWASP Juice Shop easily.
  • OWASP/NodeGoat – The OWASP NodeGoat project provides an environment to learn how OWASP Top 10 security risks apply to web applications developed using Node.js and how to effectively address them


  • abhi-r3v0/EVABS – an open source Android application that is intentionally vulnerable so as to act as a learning platform for Android application security beginners
  • t0thkr1s/frida-demo – an intentionally vulnerable Android application for Frida Demonstration

Real World DVA

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