Our autonomous cyber-creature, the Mechanical Phish faced off against six other cleverly-named competitors and fought well, winning third place and a $750,000 prize. It was the top system not developed by a corporation, beating systems made by companies such as Raytheon, the best-ranking system on offense, and the second-best on defense. It also marked the beginning of the obsolescence of humanity from yet another field...
As academics, we are not satisfied to simply collect three quarters of a million dollars of prize money (on top of the three quarters of a million for qualifying!). We want to push forward the scope of what is possible. To that end, we are open-sourcing every last line of code of the Mechanical Phish for the community to use, learn from, and build on!
The Cyber Grand Challenge was the first time anything like this was attempted in the security world. As such, Mechanical Phish is an extremely complicated piece of software, with an absurd amount of components. No blueprint for doing this existed before the CGC, so we had to figure things out as we went along. Unfortunately, rather than being a software development shop, we are a "mysterious hacker collective". This means that Mechanical Phish has some rough components, missing documentation, and ghosts in the machine. Our hope is that, going forward, we can polish and extend Mechanical Phish, as a community, to continue to push the limits of automated hacking. For now, keep in mind that this was never designed to be turn-key, might not install without extreme effort, and might not work without a lot of tweaking. Otherwise, have at it!
We have split the components of the Mechanical Phish up to form three categories:
Components that can be used as standalone tools in security research and CTF competitions, such as Driller (our crash discovery technique), Rex (our automated exploitation tool), Patcherex (for automated patching), and angrop (our automatic ropchain builder).
The Cyber Grand Challenge drew intense media attention. We've compiled the set of media articles here that show us in the best possible light. Enjoy!