Learn to hack!

Welcome to! is a first-stage education platform for students (and other interested parties) to learn about, and practice, core cybersecurity concepts in a hands-on fashion. It is designed to take a “white belt” in cybersecurity to becoming a “blue belt”, able to approach (simple) CTFs and wargames. The philosophy of is “practice makes perfect”. was created by Zardus (Yan Shoshitaishvili) and kanak (Connor Nelson) at Arizona State University. It powers ASU’s Computer Systems Security course, CSE466, and is now open, for free, to participation for interested people around the world! is hosted across a number of internet services:

Stream Schedule from August through November (NOTE: PLEASE make sure to watch all the module videos before the Wednesday stream!):

All streams are open to THE WORLD! ASU students will get a private voice channel, but everyone can ask questions on twitch.

If you have other comments, suggestions, and feedback, please email us at!

Who is this for? (prerequisites)

Consider hacking as a martial art. Newcomers begin as white belts, with zero security knowledge. Slowly and painfully, they become yellow belts, able to reason about simple security challenges and start down the road of, for example, CTF competitions. Pushing even forward in that knowledge, understanding how to bypass mitigations and perform complex, multi-stage exploits, makes these students blue belts. Over time, they become more sure in their skills, achieving brown belt status (and able to, for example, contribute to the cybersecurity industry), before finally graduating to hacking masters: black belts. is meant for white belts. If you already know the basics of hacking (and, thus, are a yellow belt), you will find this resource very easy. If you are a brown belt, you will find it quite boring. If you are a black belt, it will put you to sleep.

That being said, just because the material is for beginners does not mean that the concepts are basic. The course tackles complex concepts, up to and including the inner working of OS kernels. Good Computer Organization and OS courses covering the following are recommended.

Though has an introduction module that covers some fundamentals, a lack of knowledge in these areas will lead to heavy difficulties in the course.

How do I jump in? is organized as a set of modules covering different topics. Each module has a set of lecture slides and videos and practice problems auto-generated for each aspiring hacker to practice on. Challenges come in a teaching variety, which will walk you through their own solutions, and a testing variety, which will challenge you with less guidance. Challenges are run directly on, and can be launched in practice mode, where you have root access but there is a fake flag, and real mode, where you cannot read the flag without exploiting the challenge. has come out of beta, and modules are being launched alongside the progress of ASU’s Fall 2020 CSE466 class. So far, the following modules are live:

Modules will be launched on a weekly basis (except for binary reverse engineering, which has been extended to two weeks)! If you are impatient, you can check out archived modules from the beta at the bottom of the page.

Earning Your Belts

This course turns hacker white belts into yellow belts and then refines them into blue belts. This is not just metaphor: we have actual belts, in yellow and blue, custom-embroidered for

How to earn a yellow belt? For a yellow belt, you must complete all active challenges through Module 6 (Exploitation).

How to earn a blue belt? For a blue belt, you must complete all active challenges on!

How to get the actual belt? To get your belt, send us an email from the email address associated with your account once you’ve completed the necessary challenges. We’ll then get your belt over to you!

Who has gotten belts? We maintain a list of hackers with belts. Once you achieve your belt, if you provide your name, email address, and emoji, we will add you to the list!

Collaboration, Livestream, and Writeup Policy

The challenges created for are educational material, and are used to grade CSE466 students at ASU. Because of this, we would appreciate that writeups, walkthrough videos, and livestreams of challenge solutions are not posted to the internet. Obviously, we can’t enforce this, but we worked hard to make all of this public, and we would appreciate your help in keeping a viable educational platform.

Exceptions: Really passionate about making walkthrough videos/streams/writeups? We got you covered! Feel free to do walkthroughs of:

If you email us a link to your video or writeup, we will link it from the relevant module page!

Further Practice

After you learn the basics of cybersecurity and achieve yellow belt status, you should move on to harder challenges.

Capture The Flags (CTFs) are a great way to practice your hacking skills in a fun and ethical way. The most popular way to find upcoming events is at There is also a list of introductory CTFs here. If you are at ASU, feel free to check out and join ASU’s CTF club pwndevils at

Wargames are another great way to practice your hacking skills. Whereas CTFs are short (normally 48 hour) events, wargames are not time-based. You can find a list of wargames at

If you want to get involved with cybersecurity research, but don’t know how, consider joining us for an internship at ASU.

Reusing Material

Want to use in your course? You can!

The videos and slides of lectures are licensed under CC-BY. You can use them freely, but please provide attribution! Additionally, if you use in your own education program, we would appreciate it if you email us to let us know. Evidence of wide-spread use of for education will be a huge help for Yan’s tenure case!

EDUCATORS: If you are an educational institution and are using as part of a class, you can request a (free) private instance of the infrastructure! Please email us to ask!

CONFERENCES: If you are running a conference and would like presense there (as a form of intense weekend-long traning), please email us!


The infrastructure powering and the web-facing content are open source, and we welcome pull requests and issues. The modules are closed-source, because they include source code and solution scripts. If you are an educator, or otherwise someone we trust, and are interested in collaborating on the modules themselves, please email us at Likewise, drop us a line if you are interested in collaborating on the slides!

Special Thanks

We’d like to extend a special thanks to some people who’ve helped make the success that it is!


The pwn-college beta was announced at HITCON 2019 and ran until August 2020. The only old material that was not included in the Fall 2020 edition is: