Rules & Conduct

Internet Usage

Internet resources such as FAQs, how-to’s, existing forums and responses, and company websites, are completely valid for competition use provided there is no fee required to access those resources and access to those resources has not been granted based on a previous membership, purchase, or fee. Only resources that could reasonably be available to all teams are permitted. Public sites such as Security Focus or Packetstorm are acceptable. Only public resources that every team could access if they chose to are permitted.

Teams may not use any external, private electronic staging area, such as cloud storage, or FTP site for patches, software, etc. during the competition. Teams are not allowed to access private Internet-accessible libraries, FTP sites, web sites, network storage, or shared drives during the competition. All Internet resources used during the competition must be freely available to all other teams. Accessing private staging areas is grounds for disqualification and/or a penalty assigned to the appropriate team.

No peer-to-peer or distributed file sharing clients or servers are permitted on competition networks unless specifically authorized by the competition officials. Internet activity, where allowed, will be monitored and any team member caught viewing inappropriate or unauthorized content will be subject to disqualification and/or a penalty assigned to the appropriate team. This includes direct contact with outside sources through chat/email or any other public or non-public services including sites such as social media platforms. For the purposes of this competition inappropriate content includes pornography or explicit materials, pirated media files, sites containing key generators and pirated software, etc. If there are any questions or concerns during the competition about whether or not specific materials are unauthorized contact the Operations Team immediately.

All network activity that takes place on the competition network may be logged and subject to release. The Operations Team is not responsible for the security of any information, including login credentials, which competitors place on the competition network.

Permitted Materials

No memory sticks, flash drives, removable drives, CDROMs, electronic media, or other similar electronic devices are allowed in the room during the competition unless specifically authorized by the Operations Team in advance. Any violation of these rules will result in disqualification of the team member and/or a penalty assigned to the appropriate team.

Teams may not bring any type of tablet, PDA, cell phone, smart phone, or wireless device into the competition area unless specifically authorized by the Operations Team in advance. Any violation of these rules will result in disqualification of the team member and/or a penalty assigned to the appropriate team. Teams will be expected to supply their own computer or laptop for the competition. The Operations Team will not however be responsible for providing any additional or specialized equipment to connect your device to the competition network.

Printed reference materials (books, magazines, checklists) are permitted in competition areas and teams may bring printed reference materials to the competition as specified by the competition officials.

Professional Conduct

All participants, including competitors, coaches, Operations Team, and any affiliates, are expected to behave professionally at all times during all HackIstanbul events including preparation meetings, receptions, mixers, banquets, competitions, etc… In addition to published HackIstanbul rules, Host Site policies and rules apply throughout the competition and must be respected by all HackIstanbul participants. All HackIstanbul events are alcohol free events. No drinking is permitted at any time during competition hours.

Activities such as swearing, consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs, disrespectful or unruly behavior, sexual harassment, improper physical contact, becoming argumentative, willful violence, or willful physical damage have no place at the competition and will not be tolerated. Violations of the rules can be deemed unprofessional conduct if determined to be intentional or malicious by competition officials.

Competitors behaving in an unprofessional manner may receive a warning from the Operations Team for their first offense. For egregious actions or for subsequent violations following a warning, competitors may have a penalty assessed against their team, be disqualified, and/or expelled from the competition site. Competitors expelled for unprofessional conduct will be banned from future HackIstanbul competitions for a period of no less than 12 months from the date of their expulsion.

Individual(s), other than competitors, behaving in an unprofessional manner may be warned against such behavior by the Operations Team or asked to leave the competition entirely.

Questions Disputes & Disclosures

Prior to the Competition:

Team captains are encouraged to work with the Operations Team to resolve any questions regarding the rules of the competition or scoring methods.

During the Competition:

Protests by any team must be presented in writing by the Team Captain to the Operations Team as soon as possible. The competition officials will be the final arbitrators for any protests or questions arising before, during, or after the competition. Rulings by the competition officials are final. All competition results are official and final as of the Closing Ceremony. If you choose to take a dispute or grievance to anyone outside of the Operations Team for resolution without first having brought it to the attention for resolution with the Operations Team, expect limited support or possible disqualification from the event.

In the event of an individual disqualification, that team member must leave the competition area immediately upon notification of disqualification and must not re-enter the competition area at any time. Disqualified individuals are also ineligible for individual or team awards. In the event of a team disqualification, the entire team must leave the competition area immediately upon notice of disqualification and is ineligible for any individual or team award. All competition materials including injects, scoring sheets, and team-generated reports and documents must remain in the competition area. Only materials brought into the competition area by the student teams may be removed after the competition concludes.


Scores will be maintained by the Operations Team. Team rankings will be publicly displayed throughout the competition. Approximately one hour prior to the event concluding all public-scoring displays will be terminated; final results will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.

Any team action that breaks communication between a target and the score-bot is exclusively the responsibility of that team and will result in a lower score. Should any question arise about scoring, the scoring engine, or how they function, the Team Captain should immediately contact the competition officials to address the issue.

Glossary of Terms

  • Operations Team is defined as members of the competition hosting staff. Any and all requests for support or grievances will be directed to this team.
  • Competition Team is the group of individuals competing in the event.
  • Team Captain is a member of the Competition Team that has been designated as the Point of Contact (PoC) for that team. Members of the Operation Team will look to interact with Team Captain regarding all correspondence related to the competition.


Competitor Eligibility

  • The Competition Team participants may only belong to one team during the entire Global HackIstanbul competition.
  • Multiple entries are prohibited and will result with disqualification.



Team Composition

  • Teams should be formed before the deadline for application. A team can contain up to 4 competitors. Competitors cannot change their teams after the end of registrations.
  • If the member of a competition team advancing to the Finals competition is unable to attend that competition, that team may not substitute a person in their place.
  • Teams or team members arriving after an event’s official start time, for reasons beyond their control, may be allowed to join the competition, however, they will not be granted additional time, but only be able to compete during the scheduled time period. The Operations Team will review the reason for tardiness and make the final determination.
  • Each team will designate a Team Captain for the duration of the competition to act as the team liaison between the Operations Team and the teams before and during the competition.




Competition Conduct

  • Throughout the competition members of the Operations Team may need to interact directly with a system under the control of a specific team. If necessary, it is expected that the owning team will relinquish or provide full access to the system for the duration of the interaction. Failure to comply may result in loss of points or disqualification of the owning team.
  • Teams must not connect any devices or peripherals to the competition network unless specifically authorized to do so by the Operations Team.
  • Teams may not modify the hardware configurations of competition systems. Teams must not open the case of any server, printer, PC, monitor, KVM, router, switch, firewall, or any other piece of equipment used during the competition. All hardware related questions and issues should be referred to the Operations Team.
  • Teams may not remove any item from the competition area unless specifically authorized to do so by Operations Team members including items brought into the team areas at the start of the competition.
  • Team members are forbidden from entering or attempting to enter another team’s competition workspace or room during HackIstanbul Finals events. This includes but is not limited to resources such as laptop computers. Violations of this may result in point loss or disqualification from the event
  • Printed reference materials (books, magazines, checklists) are permitted in competition areas and teams may bring printed reference materials to the competition.
  • Teams are free to examine their own “host or launch” systems but no offensive activity against other teams, HACKISTANBUL network or the Operations Team, will be tolerated. The only acceptable offensive actions will be against targets designated as “neutral” at the commencement of either the Penetration Testing or Capture-the-Flag (CTF) games. Offensive action is defined as port scans, unauthorized connection attempts, vulnerability scans, etc. Any team performing offensive activity against other teams, the HACKISTANBUL network, Operations Team or any global asset will be immediately disqualified from the competition. If there are any questions or concerns during the competition about whether or not specific actions can be considered offensive in nature contact the Operations Team before performing those actions.
  • Teams are allowed to use active response mechanisms such as TCP resets when responding to suspicious/malicious activity. Any active mechanisms that interfere with the ability of targets to communicate with the score-bot will result in incomplete scores for the targets. This is exclusively the responsibility of the teams. This includes any firewall rule, IDS, IPS, or defensive action that breaks communication between the targets and the score-bot. If a target cannot communicate with the score-bot, then the team’s constructive actions on the target to fix vulnerabilities and maintain services will not be scored.
  • All team members will wear badges identifying team affiliation at all times during competition hours.
  • Only Operations Team members will be allowed in competition areas outside of competition hours.