26 October 2020

Synack Crowns the #Road2Tokyo Grand Champion

Tracy Bidot

Winding its way through one of the most unique years in recent history, the #Road2Tokyo SRT Challenge has made its final stop, at least for 2020. Our nearly year-long HackerHangout series kicked-off in February with a lively event in Austin, Texas which culminated in Wes Wineberg emerging as the winner and the first SRT to secure a spot to the grand finale event – HackerHangout “Tokyo.”  Featuring full days of hacking on premier targets, and breezy nights filled with famed Texas BBQ, arcade games and chicken wings, and specialty cocktails crafted by SRT themselves – Austin certainly set the tone and the bar for the HackerHangout series.

Next up was HackerHangout Goa in March, a premier destination event that provided several top-performing Synack Red Team members with live hacking set against a lush tropical landscape, endless sunshine, and lively beaches. But as they say, all work and no play makes for long days… and we wouldn’t want that! So our researchers indulged in evenings filled with live music, cocktails, and even a casino cruise along the Mandovi River. While tropical breezes and fun in the sun may have been an easy distraction for most, our HackerHangout Goa participants remained laser focused on one main pursuit – winning the competition!  Ultimately, friendly, yet competitive researcher, RiDmo, would top the leaderboard earning the second guaranteed spot to the #Road2Tokyo grand finale event!

While the initial plan was to hold the last regional HackerHangout in Lausanne, and the grand finale event in Tokyo, COVID had a different plan. We forged ahead, however, with a virtual HackerHangout Europe, with no less the competitive edge and bountiful live hacking! In a display of inspiring team-spirit and adaptability, SRT quickly built camaraderie and provided encouragement to one another via online communication, displaying the tremendous and supportive nature of our researcher community! At the end of the week-long event, one of Synack’s most seasoned researchers, Ozgur Alp, would take the top spot stamping his ticket to the grand finale event.

With three spots secured, the seven remaining grand finale seats were earned over the next few months by Enio Pena Navarro – winner of #Road2Tokyo SRT-only CTF,  Dmitry Shagov, Azdin Azzedine, Salah Baddou, Aslam Ahammed, and Daksh Patel – winners of a special grand finale qualifying competition, and Michael “Hughesey” Hughes, our 2020 SRT Rookie of the Year. With the 10 grand finale HackerHangout “Tokyo” participants solidified, just one question remained – who would be crowned the winner of this year’s Synack HackerHangout Series?

At the end of September, Synack’s grand finale event, HackerHangout “Tokyo” began featuring some of the most extensive competitive hacking to-date. Over an intense five-day virtual competition, these talented researchers displayed their unique skills and the utmost endurance, each fighting for a shot at the winning spot. In the end, only one winner could emerge. Ozgur Alp took the lead early, and held onto it throughout, earning the 2020 HackerHangout Series Grand Champion title! Congratulations to Ozgur for an impressive performance!  

In a display of tremendous talent and friendly, yet fierce competitive spirit, this year’s #Road2Tokyo provided a glimpse into the fun and excitement we can expect for our 2021 HackerHangout Program! Stay tuned!  

Do you have what it takes to join fellow SRT for the most unique HackerHangout events of 2021? Apply for the Synack Red Team Today! #CanYouHackIt