Attack-oriented CTF competitions try to distill the essence ofmany aspects of professional computer security work into a single shortexercise that is objectively measurable.
The focus areas that CTF competitions tend to measure are vulnerabilitydiscovery (auditing source, binaries, webapps), exploit creation (binary &webapp exploits), toolkit creation (creation & preparation), and operationaltradecraft.
A modern computer security professional should be an expert in at least one ofthese areas and ideally in all of them. Success in CTF competitions demands thatparticipants be an expert in at least one and ideally all these areas. Therefore,preparing for and competing in CTF represents a way to efficiently mergediscrete disciplines in computer science into a focus on computer security.