General CTF resources and tools

This chapter contains resources that train you for CTFs in general. These include past CTFs, general tools that you might use during a CTF, and other things too broad to fit into one category. For category-specific tools and resources, make sure to check out the appropriate chapters!

General resources


picoCTF is a CTF competition run by people at Carnegie Mellon University. Their website also contains resources for getting into CTFs, as well as previous years' competitions that you can tackle. Highly recommended for beginners.

Cyber FastTrack and CyberStart

Possibly the most beginner friendly cybersecurity resource on this list. Some of the skills learned here are too basic to show up on CTFs, but they're still worth learning. Contact a team captain to join the PBR group on CyberStart.

John Hammond


ACM at UCLA Youtube Channel

UCSD Cyber Discord

Awesome CTF

b0ilers welcome to CTF

CTF 101

Over The Wire

Imaginary CTF



A Python library that helps with writing CTF scripts. You'll be using this a lot.


CyberChef describes itself as "The Cyber Swiss Army Knife - a web app for encryption, encoding, compression and data analysis". Very useful.


Lets you use the Ubuntu terminal on Windows.


An interactive shell for Python that offers enhanced features for code execution and display.