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.


competition timeline

Qualification Round Details

released 1 August 2021

Registration Deadline

TBA September 2021

Qualification Reports due

TBA September 2021

Finalist Notification


Virtual Final Presentations 

10 - 12 November 2021

(TBA by region)

Purple - Blue Gradient

CSAW'19 Europe ESC 1st Place Team

CSAW'19 India ESC Competition

CSAW'19 US-CAN ESC 1st Place Team Shellphish, UC Santa Barbara

CSAW'19 Europe ESC 1st Place Team


2020 competition

Congratulations to our 2020 Finalists & Winners
Global Prize Mark (2).png

competition organizers

The competition is organized under the supervision of Assistant Professor Nektarios Tsoutsos and the global challenge leads at the University of Delaware. 

Email the Global Leads