ESC is an educational, research-oriented tournament aimed at hacking into the hardware of embedded systems. First run in 2008, it is the oldest hardware security competition in the world. 2021 represents ESC's 14 year anniversary.
Past ESC competitions have focused on the security of radio frequency identification (RFID) readers, data exfiltration attacks against IoT devices, and in 2020, hacking the firmware of a wifi access point running on a RISC-V IoT platform using open-source reverse engineering tools.
This year’s challenge will focus on side channel and fault injection attacks targeting hardware platforms that can exfiltrate sensitive data. Competitors will demonstrate their skills using a popular ChipWhisperer board in a red team vs. blue team scenario to either launch or mitigate these powerful attacks.