A cybersecurity high school student competition designed by students, for students.

CanHack is the Canadian category of picoCTF, a free online cybersecurity competition developed and run by Carnegie Mellon University. The game features a series of digital challenges based on unique storylines.

Register below!  

About CanHack

In today’s digital world, understanding cybersecurity matters more now than ever before. The DMZ at Ryerson University, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, have come together to launch CanHack - a cybersecurity student competition. Participants will learn critical computer security skills, work with experts in the field and have an opportunity to win up to $16,250 in cash prizes for both themselves and the school they attend!

Participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the problem statement. At the end of the challenge, students will walk away with a basic understanding of cybersecurity systems and:

Explore new careers

Leverage our up-to-date digital learning tools to teach the latest tech skills. Introduce students to career possibilities that exist in the growing cybersecurity field and computer science sector.

Access complimentary educational tools

Access industry approved supplies, lesson plans and guides that cover everything from coding to computational skills in order to create a well-rounded experiential learning opportunities.

Learn cybersecurity skills

Establish basic digital literacy, cybersecurity and privacy skills by providing hands-on learning for students and introduce them to experts in the field.

Get Started

Are you a teacher/supervisor or a student?

For all other information and FAQs
Be sure to read our Resource Guide!

Are you a teacher/supervisor or a student?


Are you a teacher/supervisor or a student?

Prizes for top 3 teams

Prizes for top 3 schools

New this year

*Winning this prize does not disqualify a team from other prize pools


CanHack Award Badges:

If over $16,000+ in prizes wasn’t enough, the DMZ is excited to introduce digital student badges! Digital student badges allow students to share the completion of their training in cyber security from us on their social media channels, resumes and on college/university applications!

These never expiring digital badges are a visual representation of a student’s completion of CanHack workshops and quiz completions with a passing grade. In order to receive a badge, students must:

  • Register and participate in the CanHack competition
  • Complete the CanHack cyber quiz launching on February 24nd here

Best part of all? Badges are endorsed by Carnegie Mellon University's Security and Privacy Research Institute!

Awards criteria

In order to participate students must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled at a Canadian high school
  • Apply individually or with a team consisting of no more than five students
  • Be registered by a teacher or adult supervisor

There is no fee to participate and students can sign up to compete until March 2021. There is no limit to the number of teams that can represent a single school, and members do not have to attend the same school.

*Students and teams that do not meet these requirements can still participate, but will not be eligible to win contest prizes. Please see competition rules for details.


Tailored for students in all grades from 9 to 12, these introductory workshops will help
students learn about the fundamentals of cybersecurity, including key content on:


Register your students for a workshop here


See below for full dates:



Wednesday, January 13th Advanced Web Security
Wednesday, January 20th Advanced Cryptography
Wednesday, January 27th Advanced Computer Forensics
Wednesday, February 3rd Jobs in the Cyberspace
Wednesday, February 10th Advanced Reverse Engineering
Tuesday, February 16th PicoCTF Registration Opens
Wednesday, February 17th Advanced Binary Exploitation
Wednesday, February 24th Hacking the All-Female Prize: CanHack Cybersecurity Webinar for Girls
Monday, March 15th CanHack Launch Event
Tuesday, March 16th, - March 30th Canhack PicoCTF Competition

Program Timeline

January 2021 - February 2021:
Reverse Engineering and Computer Forensic workshops & Hacking the All-Female Prize: CanHack Cybersecurity Webinar for girls
February 16th, 2021:
Registration opens for PicoCTF
March 11th, 2021:
CanHack Challenge Launch Event
March 16th to 30th, 2021:
PicoCTF 2021 challenge
April 28th, 2021:
CanHack Cyber Expo Day + Awards Ceremony

Have a question?

Naveed Tagari

Strategic Programs Specialist

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National Partner

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 81,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries.

Contributing Partners