CanHack 2018

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A cybersecurity 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.

Cybersecurity in today’s digital age.

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 $7,000.

How it works

CanHack is divided into 60+ specific challenges spread across four levels, each advancing the story and increasing in difficulty. No experience, nor expertise is necessary and there is nothing to download!

  • Level One: Designed to challenge students’ critical thinking skills.
  • Level Two: Designed to challenge students through introductory computer programming.
  • Level Three: Designed to challenge students with a strong background in computer programming.
  • Level Four: A diverse set of problems across all categories, ranging from difficult to professional.

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.

Prizes for top 3 teams

1st place: $1,500
2nd place: $750
3rd place: $500

Prizes for top 3 schools

1st place: $2,000
2nd place: $1,500
3rd place: $1,000

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 October 12, 2018. 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.

Ready to put your skills to the test?
RSVP now.

Canhack 2018 officially launches on September 28th, 2018. Registering below will confirm your entry into the competition. Please note, on September 28th at 12:00pm noon you must still register your team on the game site at

Program Timeline

September 17, 2018: Launch event: Register here.
September 28, 2018: CanHack 2018 registration open (
October 12, 2018: CanHack 2018 challenge ends.
November 27, 2018: Awards ceremony and winners announced.


National partner

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

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

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