The Challenge » FAQ
Below are the most common questions asked to the DC3 Challenge Team. If you do not see your question covered, contact us!
- What is the deadline for registration?
- Do teams need 4 players or can they have less?
- Can a school or professional organization enter more than one team?
- Why do I need to register for the DC3 Challenge?
- Why does the DC3 Challenge collect my Personal Identifiable Data (PII?)
- Why can I not update my team’s information online?
- How do I make changes to my registration or add/change team members?
Solving the Challenges
- How long do I have to solve Challenges exercises?
- Do I need to solve an entire Challenge level before solving the next one?
- Who do we contact about questions reguarding a Challenge exercise?
Submitting Challenge Exercises
- What is the deadline for submitting Challenge exercises?
- How are submissions recorded?
- What are bonus points?
- How are bonus points calculated?
- What should I submit for each exercise?
- Do I have to consider certain software/applications when developing my tools?
- Can I submit incomplete solutions for Challenge exercises?
- Can I submit corrections to a previous Challenge exercise submission?
- Why should I submit my solutions to the DC3 Challenge?
- Who owns the intellectual property rights on solutions by teams?
- Once I submit a solution to a Challenge exercise, who is it shared with?
Grading Team Submissions
What is the deadline for registration?Registration runs from 15 Dec 2011 to 01 Nov 2012.
Do teams need 4 players or can they have less?Teams can consist of one (1) to four (4) member(s).
Can a school or professional organization enter more than one team?Yes. However, an individual cannot participate on more than one (1) team in the DC3 Challenge 2012.
Why do I need to register for the DC3 Challenge?We use the registration process by the DC3 Challenge Team to track participation and to assess the eligibility of the participants and the team affiliations. This allows us to report the progress of the DC3 Challenge to the public and generate interest.
Why can I not update my team’s information online?As a government entity, we are required to follow stringent policies and directives on how to handle and store PII data. It was deemed by the DC3 Challenge Team the most secure method to store a team’s PII data is to use and store PII offline for internal access only. This severely reduces our risks from outside entities that are trying to compromise PII data in addition to other security and policy procedures implemented to protect the data and its systems.
How do I make changes to my registration or add/change team members?Any changes of team member after approval to play should be submitted via email to the DC3 Challenge team by the team lead at time of change.
Solving the Challenges
How long do I have to solve Challenges exercises?Your time to solve Challenge exercises is from the time of your team's approval to 1 Nov 2012 to submit Challenge exercies.
Do I need to solve an entire Challenge level before solving the next one?No, teams do not need to complete an entire Challenge levels for exercises. Challenge exercises are independent of each other.
Who do we contact about questions reguarding a Challenge exercise?Questions regarding the individual exercises may be answered by posing your questions to us via email. We reserve the right to not provide an answer to your question if we deem it provides an advantage to the team.
Submitting Challenge Exercises
What is the deadline for submitting Challenge exercises?All DC3 Challenge 2012 solutions, including scripts and non-commercial programs created by the team, must be uploaded or postmarked to DC3 no later than 1 Nov 2012 at 11:59:59 PM EST to be eligible for a prize in their assigned category.
Exercise solutions received after 1 Nov 2012 EST will not be accepted for prizes. Scoring after this date will be at the discretion of DC3.
How are submissions recorded?All exercise submissions are stored in an offline system for grading and their submission date and time are recorded by exercise into the internal Challenge management system. Dates and times for team data are kept in the Eastern Time Zone with respect to daylight savings, regardless of the team's physical location and time zone.
What are bonus points?A team may acquire additional points (aka bonus points) for their Challenge exercise solution(s) based on the date and time it is submitted to DC3 Challenge and the team's final grade on their solution to the Challenge exercises.
How are bonus points calculated?Bonus points are calculated based on the team‘s grade for that exercise submission and the submission date for that exercise. The team‘s initial submission is the FINAL submission for that specific exercise.
Bonus points will be awarded based on the following schedule:
Submission Date Bonus Awarded
to Exercise Score
15 Dec 2011 - 1 April 2012 20% 2 April 2012 - 1 Jul 2012 10% 2 Jul 2012 - 1 Oct 2012 5% 2 Oct 2012 - 1 Nov 2012 0%
What should I submit for each exercise?
- Your answers on the Challenge exercise worksheet
- Your methdology
- Any custom tools, programs, or scripts that is non-commercial or modified from a public open-source repository
- Provide information on tools used in the exercise as required in the DC3 Challenge 2012 rules in Section 4.4.3 - Terms of Submitting Tools Used in Solving Challenges
Do I have to consider certain software/applications when developing my tools?As the majority of the current forensic community are using certain tools designed to run on the Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows XP to Windows 7), tool development is mostly requiring that the tool be able to run standalone (all libraries included) on the Microsoft Windows Operating System.
Can I submit incomplete solutions for Challenge exercises?Yes. Teams can submit incomplete exercises submissions for partial points. Be aware of our grading criteria to maximize them.
Can I submit corrections to a previous Challenge exercise submission?Teams are responsible for verifying their submissions are accurate before providing to DC3. If a team has provided their submission in error, they must contact the DC3 Challenge Team within 2 business days of their submission to remove it from DC3 Challenge grading.
If the DC3 Challenge Team is not contacted, their initial submission is considerd their FINAL submission for that exercise at DC3's discretion.
Why should I submit my solutions to the DC3 Challenge?All solutions provided to the DC3 Challenge by the Challenge participants are for the purposes of Research and Development (R&D) of digital forensics in furthering advancement for the US Government and the digital forensics community.
Teams from our past Challenges have received prizes, gained noteriety, and been provided internships and job opportunities by DC3 and other organizations in the digital forensics community just by playing and submitting solutions.
Who owns the intellectual property rights on solutions by teams?All tools (programs, scripts, and methods/techniques) created by the DC3 Challenge participants will remain the intellectual property of their creator(s).
Additional legal rights are provided to the US Government, including but limited to, distribution, royalty, and licensing, by submitting your solutions to the DC3 Challenge as stated in the DC3 Challenge 2012 rules in Section 5.0 - Intellectual Property. Any questions about these rights granted should be directed to the DC3 Challenge Team before your submission of your solution.
Once I submit a solution to a Challenge exercise, who is it shared with?All team submissions with team-created tools, techniques, solutions, and responses, in their entirety, unless stated in the DC3 Challenge 2012 rules, may be shared, in their entirety, with the Challenge participants, DOD partners, and the digital forensics community.
These tools, techniques, solutions, and responses may be documented and publicized in addition with the general public at DC3‘s discretion.
Grading Team Submissions
Who grades our team's submission(s)?All grading is done internally by DC3 forensic examiners in an internal Challenge management system. All grades are peer reviewed for accuracy and fairness.
When are my team's submissions graded?Grading is done throughout the year by the DC3 Challenge Team, usually after the end of each bonus round and after the deadline for submitting Challenge exercises. Scores are finalized and posted on 3 Dec 2012 when winners are announced.
What am I graded on?Teams are graded on several factors at the discretion of the DC3 Challenge Team. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Answering requested items in the exercise worksheet
- A well reasoned answer for open ended questions.
- Providing a well documented methodology, including repeatable, step-by-step details of reaching their solution.
- Providing tool information for each exercise solution as required in the DC3 Challenge 2012 rules in Section 4.4.3 - Terms of Submitting Tools Used in Solving Challenges
How are Level 500: Developer exercises graded?Level 500 exercises are graded against several factors at the discretion of the DC3 Challenge Team. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Providing the tool that works as requested, in the manner specified as per the exercise worksheet and DC3 Challenge 2012 rules
- Results of tool's criteria stated in the exercise worksheet against the DC3 Challenge Team's test beds.
- Providing tool information for each exercise solution as stated in the DC3 Challenge 2012 rules in Section 4.4.3 - Terms of Submitting Tools Used in Solving Challenges
- Including the Tool Evaluation Worksheet in your submission and meeting its stated requirements.
How are points awarded for each Challenge exercise?Points are awarded for each individual exercise, with a set number of points per exercise by its Challenge level and the exercise's criteria set by the DC3 Challenge Team. (i.e. Level 100s at 100 points, Level 200s at 200 points, etc.) Additional points can be awarded beyond the Challenge level at the discretion of DC3 Challenge Judges.
How is my team's score calculated?Total points are calculated by adding the sum of the graded exercise scores and the sum of the total bonus points generated by the team.
How can I see my team's score?Before the deadline for submitting Challenge exercises, teams are ranked on the leaderboard with an estimated team's score provided to the nearest 100 points. Scores are estimated since they are subject to change at DC3's discresion until they are finialized by DC3 Challenge Judges on 3 Dec 2012 as per the DC3 Challenge 2012 rules in Section 4.4 - Judging & Challenge Rules.
Once team scores are final by DC3 Challenge Judges, the leaderboard will be updated with the team's final score with their ranking(s) per prize category and prizes will be awarded.