Underhanded Crypto Contest: 2018 Edition

It’s time for the 5th annual Underhanded Crypto Contest!

Rules for the contest are now available – entries will be accepted until midnight on July 15th, 2018, and the winners will be announced during DEF CON 26 in Las Vegas.

Information on judging and prizes will be announced very soon.


Underhanded Crypto Contest participants put a lot of effort into their submissions, and it’s important for us to reward that effort. For the 2018 Underhanded Crypto Contest, we have two generous sponsors that have agreed to provide cash prizes for our winners.

Zcash Foundation

First Prize: $1,500

The Zcash Foundation will give the first place winner $1,500 USD, payable in ZEC.

Second Prize: $750

The second-place prize of $750 USD is being provided by NCC Group Cryptography Services.


About the contest

The Underhanded Crypto contest was inspired by the famous Underhanded C Contest, which is a contest for producing C programs that look correct, yet are flawed in some subtle way that makes them behave inappropriately. This is a great model for demonstrating how hard code review is, and how easy it is to slip in a backdoor even when smart people are paying attention.

The Underhanded Crypto Contest is the same but for cryptography. We welcome backdoors in implementations of cryptography (in any language) as well as backdoors at the design level so that any implementation of the design would contain a weakness.

Information on prior years can be found here:

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