India’s number 1 research lab in cybersecurity

About | HCL HACK IITK 2020

IIT KANPUR C3i Hub is among the top research centers in the world and India’s number one Research Center on Cyber Security and Cyber Defense of a Cyber Physical system.

IIT KANPUR C3i Hub addresses the issue of cyber security of a CPS in its entirety, covering all nine layers of the CPS. The C3iHub Incubates Inter-Disciplinary Innovations by providing opportunities to investigate, test and assess cyber threats in different layers and then find solutions to make the system safe from Cyber threats. All this under the guidance of eminent faculty of IIT Kanpur actively engaged at the C3iHub

This Cyber Security Hackathon is designed by the Professors at the IIT KANPUR C3i Hub. The participating teams will have the opportunity to identify, assess, build and test a robust cyber defense solutions to a given practical problem. In the process they will get an opportunity to get mentored by eminent faculty of IIT KANPUR C3i Hub.All participants get to attend Webinars by Industry experts, and possibility of Incubating your winning solutions into a Startup supported by Industry or IIT KANPUR C3iHub.

For Technology Enthusiasts, employed, students or Startups, this is not an opportunity to be missed. Participate as teams and win fabulous prizes.


Prizes for Top Teams

5 Lakhs
& AWS Credits worth
$ 5,000

First Prize

2.5 Lakhs
& AWS Credits worth
$ 5,000

Second Prize

1.5 Lakhs
& AWS Credits worth
$ 5,000

Third Prize

Top 25

Merit Certificate

$ 2500
IBM cloud

Jury's award for promising startup

  • Opportunity for Interview to certificate holders with the relevant partnering entities
  • Opportunity to incubate the winning ideas at C3i
  • Certificate of Participation to Everyone who Participate in all the Rounds
  • Applicable taxes on Prize money will be borne by the Winners

This is a team event with NO Registration Fee.

  • Students – Open to all disciplines
  • Employed - Professionals with Bachelors Degree in 2017 or later
  • Startups - Young new Startups with founders eligibility as defined above



1 July 2020 - 24 July 2020

3 Steps - Team Leader to Signup, Register, and Invite Team Members

Qualifying Round

25 July 2020 – 26 July 2020

MCQ & Programming

Saturday 25th July 6:00 PM to 11:59 PM (IST)

Sunday 26th July 6:00 pm to 11:59 pm

The participant must start their test within above window. Once the test starts, the session will continue for the allotted hours beyond 11:59 pm.

Challenge Round 1

29 July 2020 – 31 July 2020

Solve a Cybersecurity Problem

Using ML Libraries

Extended till Aug 1, 2020 12:00 PM

Challenge Round 2

2 August 2020 – 6 August 2020, 12:00 PM

Solve a Cybersecurity Problem

Using ML Libraries


15 August 2020

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Online Award Function

Details will be Updated


  • Website
    • 52,000 Plus Visits (Till 31st July 2020)
    • 32,000 Unique Visitors
  • Registration - Duration 1st July 2020 to 24th July 2020
    • 12,496 Individual Registrations, including 378 Professionals and 236 startups
    • 2100+ Colleges including 16 IITs. 21 IIITs, 30 NITs, 4 Pvt IOEs
    • 12 Countries other than India: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Nepal, UAE, UK, USA, Uzbekistan
    • 3342 Team Registrations (2 or 3 members)
    • 9 Outreach partners
    • 4 Student Clubs
  • Webinar/Workshop Partcipation
    • Machine Learning Workshop: 23rd July 2020 - 691 Participants
    • Webinar 4: 22nd July 2020 - 693 Unique Appearance
    • Webinar 3: 19th July 2020 - 545 Unique Appearance
    • Webinar 2: 13th July 2020 - 370 Unique Appearance
    • Webinar 1: 8th July 2020 - 398 Unique Appearance



    • The Challenge Rounds (CR) are applicable to those teams that have qualified through the Qualifying Round and their names appear in the Qualified List that will be published on 28th July 2020 on the platform.
      Challenge Round 1 – 200 Marks - You will be given one problem and you have to solve that problem
      Challenge Round 2 – 300 Marks - You will be given choice of two different problems, you have to solve any one of them
      • CR1: From 00:00 Hrs on 29th July 2020 to 12:00 PM Hrs on 1st August (total of 84 hours)
      • CR2: From 00:00 Hrs on 1st August 2020 to 23:59 Hrs on 5th August 2020 (total of 96 hours)
      • The challenge round problems will require you to build tools to detect cyber attack patterns from large amount of data on systems that have been compromised or that have been subject to cyber attacks. The nature of the past data will vary from problem to problem. However, the volume of the data released for the participants is quite large -- ranging from 10-30 GB.
      • We will release the data in several smaller chunks. Some problems will have data that will be less than 1.5 GB and hence can be downloaded as one chunk. For problems requiring more data, the first chunk will be sufficient to analyze and build tools, but more chunks you download and add to your dataset -- your tool will become more and more effective.
      • If you are bandwidth limited, we suggest that you start by downloading the first chunk and then download more chunks and add more data to your dataset to improve your model. If you are not limited by bandwidth restriction, you may want to download all chunks in one go and then start crunching the data. Either way, the final results will depend on your algorithms and your efficiency in building tools.
      • When you upload your solution in a Zip file please add a README file inside your zip file. If you use any open source libraries in your code which is not usual, please mention where the library is available, and any installation instructions. If you create a pre-installation script to add libraries required in your program to the evaluation environment, that will enhance the chance of your program being correctly evaluated. Any plagiarism including use of code chunks from internet sources or other participants will be caught with industry strength code plagiarism tools. Any sign of such will be grounds for immediate disqualification.
      • The problem statement and the data set will be made available to you to download from the platform at the start of the respective Challenge round. You may download the same at any time during the respective Challenge Round Windows.
      • Only one member of the team usually the Team Leader needs to log in, Team members are required to collaborate using any tool (video, desktop share etc) to solve the problems. Use of Internet is permitted.
      • During the Challenge Rounds the system will permit you to log-in and log-out multiple times at your convenience, inside the respective window.
      • For building the tool you will work on your own computer and later upload the ZIP file. You can make multiple submissions, only the most recent is evaluated. It is recommended that only team leader uploads the zip file.
      • The recommended PC configuration to solve the problem is: CPU 3 GHz, RAM 16GB, Free HD space 50GB, Graphic Processor You should have a broad band, wired Internet Connection with daily download capacity of up to 30GB.
    • Everyone has to complete both the Challenge Rounds. The total score will decide the winner.

    Registration Steps

    • This is a team event, each team can have 2 or 3 members. Single person participation is not permitted.
    • It is recommended that the team members between themselves decide the Team Leader in advance. The Team Leader should have correct names and emails of team mates before starting the registration process.
    • All the names given should match the names in the photo id’s that will be asked for during challenge rounds.
    • The Team Leader should start the registration process. Registration involves following three steps-
      • Step 1: Press the orange REGISTER button on website and SIGN UP on the online platform of Mercer Mettl and follow the instructions to verify your email (you will received an email from, if you can’t find it, please check your spam folder) and set your password.
      • Step 2: Enter again using REGISTER button, SIGN IN to complete the Registration form and assign a unique name to your team.
      • Step 3: Invite your team member(s) to join your team, and ask your team members to complete their respective registration forms. (In case you exited after step 2, please SIGN IN again and go to TEAM DETAILS Tab and invite team members).
    • The Registration is complete ONLY when all team members have filled up their forms and submitted. It is the responsibility of Team Leader to ensure that all team members complete the required forms online.

    Qualifying Round Guidance

    • The Qualifying Round test can be taken only in the window specified in the Time line section. It can be taken only once. The test should be taken on a PC or a Laptop. It is not convenient to give the test from a mobile device.
      The test has two sections – MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) and Programming (Programming Problems)
    • Qualifying Round Time Slots (IST)
      • Saturday 25th July 6:00 PM to 11:59 PM
      • Sunday 26th July 6:00 PM to 11:59 PM
      • The participant must start their test within above window. Once the test starts, the session will continue for the allotted hours beyond 11:59 pm.
    • The qualifying round test will carry Maximum Marks of 300 and it will be of 3 hours duration. The test will have two sections as follows:
      • MCQ - Multiple Choice Questions - 1 hour - Max Marks 100
      • Programming - Programming Problems - 2 hours - Max Marks 200
    • Total Duration max 3 hours in One continuous session - Total Marks 300
    • General Guidelines
      • Only one member from the team can take the test, usually the Team Leader or any team member who logs in first for the test. That member will take the test from his/her registered id, and it will be on behalf of the team.
      • Other members of the team are not permitted to take the test separately.
      • The Team should collaborate with each other offline using any tool of their choice. You are permitted to use internet during the test.
      • The participants are required to complete both the sections in order of their preference, You should not click FINISH TEST until both the sections have been completed. Use Next Section (at the bottom) to proceed to the other section.
      • Section once closed cannot be restarted.
      • The session is closed when both the sections have been completed by clicking on FINSH TEST, or getting timed out. If your session expires you will not be able to log in again for the Qualifying round.
      • It is recommended that MCQ Section is attempted first.

    • MCQ Section – Multiple Choice Questions
      • This section duration is 1 hour and maximum marks can be 100.
      • This section will have Multiple Choice Questions on Cybersecurity.
      • There will be 25 questions to answer. Each question will have four choices, only one answer is correct.
      • For each correct answer, the candidate will be awarded 4 marks, for wrong answer there will be zero marks. There is no negative marking.
      • The candidates are encouraged to attempt all questions.
      • During the one hour window of the test, the candidate is permitted to go back to questions already attempted and modify the answer.
      • After 60 minute the screen will be locked and this section is closed.
      • The candidate can chose to close MCQ section earlier than 60 minutes and start the pending section, however the residual time, if any, will not be added to the next section

  • Programming Section – Two Programming Problems
    • This section duration is 2 hour and maximum marks can be 200.
    • The programming section will have an overall duration of 2 hours in which the candidate will be required to solve two programming problems as per following details.
      • Q1 Basic Programming - Max Marks 100
      • Q2 Basic Machine Learning Programming - Max Marks 100
      • Both Questions must be answered
    • In the programming section, the candidate will have a code skeleton in which the candidate will write their code. The first programming problem checks the fundamental problem-solving concept of the candidate. In the second basic machine learning problem, the candidate will write code to parse the datasets provided to prepare the feature vectors and pass the right parameters to the Machine Learning library functions to get the expected output. This will make it easier, but the candidate will get an understanding of the feature vector and the parameter tuning concept for Machine Learning.
    • The candidate can attempt the two questions in any order. Both questions are to be answered.
    • Both Programming Problems have to be solved on the platform (can be solved in any order)
    • Both questions should be answered within the allotted time of two hours
    • There is no time out for any breaks.
    • The Programming language is Python 2 or Python 3
    • For solving the Programming problems the participant should be familiar with use of the following libraries
      sklearn (scikit-learn)
      These and many more libraries are available on the platform
    • The candidate will be given randomly picked data set to solve the programming problem. The data set once picked will not change for the candidate
    • After 120 minutes the screen is locked and this section is closed.
    • The candidate can choose to close the section earlier than 120 minutes and start the un-attempted section, however the residual time, if any, will not be added to the next section timing.
    • Note: Each answer submitted will be checked for plagiarism using industry standard tools. Any act of copying and plagiarism will result in instant disqualification of the team


    • The Hackathon is open to -
      • all college students,
      • employed professionals with up to 3 years experience,
      • Startups where all the founders are less than three years’ experience can apply as Startup. The founder should be the team leader.
    • All Startups are eligible for cloud credits under AWS Activate program. In addition, there is a Jury’s award to a Promising Startup.
    • Participants must apply in a team of 2-3 members. The first to register will become the Team Leader.
    • The Team Leader is responsible to register other team members that will comprise the team. The Team leader will also choose a unique Name for the Team.
    • The Team leader represents the team and is fully responsible for their own and their team’s conduct in the hackathon.
    • Team leader will ensure that their team follows the rules of the hackathon.
    • Any act of Cheating or plagiarism would lead to summary exit of the team from the hackathon.
    • Teams can not be changed once the competition has begun, and should even just one member of the team leave the competition, the entire team will be disqualified.
    • This is an online event consisting of a Qualification Round and multiple Challenge rounds. The winning teams will be decided based on the aggregated performance in the challenge rounds.
    • All dates and time are Indian Standard time (IST) which is GMT + 5½ hours.
    • The teams that move on to the Challenge Round 2 (the final round) will be asked to upload additional documents (a) Government issued Photo id (passport, aadhar card ec.), (b) Degree certificate to validate the year of graduation, and (c) College id for students.(d) Bank details where the money is to be transferred. The bank account should be in the name of the team leader.
    • The cash prizes in Indian Rupees will be transferred to the team leader’s bank account via net banking channels. For international participants equivalent amount in USD will be transferred to team leader.
    • The tax burden on the prize money will be on account of the winner. Currently all cash prizes are subject to 30% Tax Deduction at Source
    • The organizing committee may award equivalent online coupons, however this would be done as a last recourse.


    • The Team Leader is responsible for all the information provided by him and his team members. Submitting false information would lead to disqualification of the team.
    • The credentials of the team are verified before entering the challenge round 2, in case there any discrepancy is found between the information given and the documents submitted, the team will be disqualified and will forfeit their claim to any prize or certificate.
    • The responsibility of ensuring stable internet connection and other infrastructure required for developing the solution during the Hackathon lies solely on the participating teams. In case of any disruption of service, the organisers would not be responsible.
    • The qualifying round can be attempted only once, if the session is not completed due to poor connection or any other disruption, the team misses their chance.
    • Using any unfair means during hackathon may lead to the cancellation of team’s candidature.
    • Hackathon participants hereby acknowledge that event participation is free of charge and that participation does not entail any right to compensation of any kind or to reimbursement of any expenses incurred.
    • Information regarding registered teams will be shared with Jury Panel and Organizing Committee on need basis for the purpose of running the Hackathon.
    • The Cloud gift for the first three prizes are from AWS and the usage of cloud is governed by AWS Cloud Usage policy.
    • The cloud offer for 25 certificate holders is by AWS for students and Startups only, the eligibility for availing this offer is governed by AWS Terms and Conditions.
    • Cloud prizes by IBM are governed by cloud usage policies of IBM.
    • For further queries, please contact


    Chairman of the Jury

    Dr. Saurabh Srivastava

    Padma Shri
    Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, VC
    Co-founder & Former Chairman, NASSCOM
    Co-founder & Chairman Emeritus, TIE NCR
    Co-founder, Indian Angel Network

    Chief Mentor and Advisor

    Prof. Manindra Agarwal

    Padma Shri
    Director C3iHub
    Professor Computer Sciences & Engineering
    Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur


    Prof. Sandeep K. Shukla

    Professor Computer Science & Engineering
    Professor C3i Hub

    Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

    Vinayak Godse

    Vice President

    Data Security Council of India
    A NASSCOM Venture

    Renju Varghese

    Fellow and Chief Architect Cyber Security

    HCL Technologies Ltd

    Ashish Adhvaryu

    Director – Cybersecurity services

    HCL Technologies Ltd

    Priya Mallya

    Leader, Developer Ecosystem
    Group - India/South Asia

    IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software
    IBM India Pvt Ltd

    Durga Prasad Kakaraparthi

    Solutions Architect

    Amazon Internet Services

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