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A cybersecurity high school student competition designed by students, for students.

CanHack is the Canadian category of picoCTF, a free online cybersecurity competition developed and run by Carnegie Mellon University. The game features a series of digital challenges based on unique storylines.

The CanHack 2022 competition will run from March 15th - March 29th 2022

Register below!  

About CanHack

In today’s digital world, understanding cybersecurity matters more now than ever before. The DMZ at Ryerson University, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, have come together to launch CanHack - a cybersecurity student competition. Participants will learn critical computer security skills, work with experts in the field and have an opportunity to win up to $16,250 in cash prizes for both themselves and the school they attend!

Participants must reverse engineer, break, hack, decrypt, or do whatever it takes to solve the problem statement. At the end of the challenge, students will walk away with a basic understanding of cybersecurity systems and:

How to register

For Teachers/ Supervisors

Registering their class(es)

  • STEP 1.
    Sign up for CanHack here
    (This ensures you can win the prizes!)
  • STEP 2.
    Register an account on PicoCTF. After creating an account, go to the compete tab and sign up for the picoCTF 2022 competition.
    (This is where the game will be played!)
  • STEP 3.
    Starting February 1st, teachers can assign students to classrooms. In the classroom page, you can view the progress of your students.
    Pro-tip: Visit our resource guide on how-to on how-to complete this step.
  • STEP 4.
    Collect all usernames and teams that your students will be using on the PicoCTF platform and fill out this excel template here.
  • STEP 5.
    Upload the excel sheet with the team names and usernames here.
  • STEP 6.
    For support with the challenge from industry mentors, you and your students can follow along on the official PicoCTF discord server or send an email to: Naveed Tagari

For Students

Registering individually

  • STEP 1.
    Sign up for CanHack here
  • STEP 2.
    Tell your teacher about Canhack and have them register as your supervisor here!
  • STEP 3.
    Register an account on PicoCTF. After creating an account, go to the compete tab and sign up for the picoCTF 2022 competition.
    This must be done for all of your team members!
  • STEP 4.
    Have one member from your team inform your teacher or supervisor of your PicoCTF usernames and team name.

For all other information and FAQs
Be sure to read our Resource Guide!

Prizes for top 3 teams

Canhack Team Prizes logo

Prizes for top 3 schools

Canhack School Prizes logo

Additional Prize

Canhack New prize logo
*Winning this prize does not disqualify a team from other prize pools


CanHack Award Badges: Canhack Badge logo

If over $15,000 in prizes wasn’t enough, the DMZ is excited to award students with digital badges! Digital badges allow students to share the completion of their training in cyber security from us on their social media channels, resumes and on college/university applications!

These never expiring digital badges are a visual representation of a student’s completion of CanHack workshops and quiz completions with a passing grade. In order to receive a badge, students must: register for and complete the CanHack competition

Best part of all? Badges are endorsed by Carnegie Mellon University's Security and Privacy Research Institute!

Awards criteria

In order to participate students must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled at a Canadian high school
  • Apply individually or with a team consisting of no more than five students
  • Must register with a teacher or adult supervisor

There is no fee to participate, no experience required and students can sign up to compete until March 14th 2022. There is no limit to the number of teams that can represent a single school, and members do not have to attend the same school.

*Students and teams that do not meet these requirements can still participate, but will not be eligible to win contest prizes. Please see competition rules for full details.


Asynchronous workshops and learning content will be made available for all students through our resource hub. Workshops include:


4 sessions about cyber security will be held live on Youtube where students will hear from industry experts

See below for full dates:

Date Subject
Women in Tech Panel December 8th
Jobs in Cyber Panel January 19th
Women in Cyber February 16th
CanHack Launch Event March 9th 2022
CanHack Competition March 15th - 29th
CanHack Awards Ceremony April 2022

Once you are registered for CanHack 2022 you will receive invitations to the panels noted above!

Program Timeline

February 2022:   Registration opens for PicoCTF
March 2022:   CanHack Challenge Launch Event
March 2022:   PicoCTF 2022 challenge
April 2022:   CanHack Awards Ceremony

Have a question?

Naveed Tagari

Strategic Programs & Partnerships Lead

Stay in the know.

Want to keep updated with all things CanHack? Sign up for the DMZ CanHack email list to stay informed. You can change your email settings at any time!


CanHack Newsletter

To get live updates on CanHack, please subscribe to our newsletter.


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