What is HackFu Austria and where did it come from?

HackFu Austria is a 48-hour gamified convention on cybersecurity, modeled after the Hackfu events held by Chronyko and MWR successfully since 2007. This is the first time this event will be held in Austria and we are excited that you are interested in it! HackFu Austria consists of 100 people who will get together from September 15-17, 2021 to tackle varied challenges from the field of cybersecurity, including software engineering, pentesting, mechatronics, lockpicking and much more. You will get assigned a team (5 teams a 20 Hacker and Haecksen) and need to work together with your team mates to solve the overarching challenge, which is yet top secret, obviously.

Who is “we” and what’s behind HackFu Austria?

At the risk of disappointing all of your most exciting hopes and dreams, “we” are literally just a bunch of people gathered to organize this event. Inspired by the events in UK, some members of the organizing group decided that they wanted to attempt their own take at a HackFu. To make success more likely, they hired/talked other people into helping them, like a professional event manager or a graphics designer. That’s the whole story. The event is funded by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, because we knew that they would be likely to jump at the opportunity to make something for Austrian “Cyber Security”. Cyber Cyber. We weren’t very successful with our first attempt at funding, so we decided to get help from someone who is quite experienced at maneuvering these waters: Cyber Security Austria. In the end, they vouched for us and we got the funding. We consciously chose this method of funding over getting sponsored by one or various big tech companies – we decided that the chance that we could shape and create the event according to our wishes was more likely than if we were financially depending on someone who wants to sell a product.

I am really skeptical about the Austrian government’s handling of the COVID 19 pandemic – do you think it’s realistic that an event like HackFu will take place in September 2021?

Well, you got one thing right. Austrian government has made a mess of their crisis management. However, we are convinced we are much better at it. We have monitored the unfolding situation carefully and of course, we realize that there is a minimal risk that we will all be in a strict lockdown once again, come fall. However, we do have a very comprehensive Corona – Safety concept, devised by an experienced event manager which you will also be able to read (we will post the link once it is published). So, even though there is a risk of the event being cancelled (which you will of course be notified of), the risk of getting infected with the corona virus is minimal. We will take care of all the necessary measures to ensure that everyone leaves the event as healthy and happy as they arrived – with your help and accordance to testing, hygiene and general safety measures, of course.

What is the official language spoken at the event?

Due to the expected number of international experts (yes, are talking about you), we would like to invite you to join our conversation - in English please. The communication on and around the event, as well as the challenges and the story around it will all be in English.

So, should I register for the event, even if I’m unsure if I’ll actually be able to take part?

To answer this, you need to ask yourself: do you want to possibly miss out on the singular chance to take part in the FIRST EVER GAMIFIED CONVENTION ON CYBERSECURITY in Austria – ever? If you don’t you, should definitely pre-register. We recognize that the situation is a little complicated right now, which is why we devised a step-by-step registration.

Yeah, I’ve been a little confused by the registering system!

No problem, complex times require complex measures. Which are hard to explain. That’s what complex means. Right? So, our system requires you to pre-register on this web form (https://hackfu.at/signup.html). This basically functions as an application (can’t have people who won’t be able to solve the challenges there, can we?). When your pre-registration has been approved by our team (which should take no more than 2-3 weeks), you will get an official invitation to HackFu Austria. This might also be helpful if you need to apply for a visa, etc. Once you’ve accepted this invitation, you are officially signed up and your space is taken. However, all of this back and forth takes time – so if you discover along the way that you can’t possibly be in Vienna on September 15, 2021 because of reasons, please let us know so asap via e-mail to anmeldungen@hackfu.at). Spots are limited, so taking up one if you know you can’t take part, makes it harder for us and possibly takes away the opportunity for someone else.

I have pre-registered but have not received a confirmation/invitation yet.

Please allow some time for us to check your application (2-3 weeks). If you have not received a notification or a very polite decline after this time, please get in touch via anmeldungen@hackfu.at. We are human, and sometimes we make mistakes.

What does HackFu Austria cost?

HackFu Austria 2021 is free of all charge for the duration of the event. That means that you must cover the cost of getting to the designated meeting point in Vienna and back home from there 2 days later yourself. Accommodation, 3 meals per day, and attendance of the event are free of charge. There will be the possibility of buying additional food and drink, so you might want to take some cash.

So it’s really free?

Yes, for those who registered and were approved/invited by our team. Which is why the available slots at HackFu Austria are strictly limited to 100 persons – so, what are you waiting for? Pre-register now to make sure you don’t miss out on this singular experience.

What do I bring in to the event?

Before the event we will publish a list of things (e.g. towel) and tools (e.g. notebook) you will need.

When do I have to arrive in Vienna and what time can I assume to going back?

Wednesday 15.09. the busses will leave around 12:00 (CEST). The busses will be back around 17:00 (CEST) on Friday. We will publish a more detailed schedule in front of the event.

How can I get in touch with you?

There’s several means of communication you can use to get in touch with us. If you have specific questions about the event, you’re welcome to write us an e-mail to orga@hackfu.at. If your questions are specifically about registering, you can also write to anmeldungen@hackfu.at. If your questions concern marketing/cooperations/PR please direct your e-mail to partner@hackfu.at or presse@hackfu.at. If you’d like to get a feel for the community and the team behind HackFu Austria, check out our discord and twitter channel. You’re welcome to join the discussion about theme and location of the event. Also, if you’re attentive, you might learn one thing or two about the challenges you need to solve at the event.

Anything else I need to know?

To close with a really nice statement of our team leader: “HackFu Austria is all about the experience. We want to bring people together and make sure that they enjoy themselves and each other. It’s not necessarily about competition, even though it seems a lot like a CTF tournament at first. But we really want to highlight the fun in cooperation and getting to know each other over these 2 days. And this is an event designed to bring us, the team, as much fun as the participants! I can’t wait!” So, pre-register and be a part of something BIG! TAKE ME TO SIGN UP!