Mad Hacks: Fury Code participant requirements and event details


Mad Hacks: Fury Code is a hackathon to determine solutions for problems in vehicle cybersecurity. To review the full description and problem background, as well as leading questions, please see Section 2. 3-5 teams will be awarded contracts from a $70,000 pot to continue developing their solutions.

Procedures and Timeline

Discord Channel: We’ve set up a Discord channel – linked here – for all of our contestants. We’ll be making all announcements with this hackathon, including office hours with mentors and evaluators, answering questions, and posting interesting links and content.

  • The submission window will open on February 5, 2021, at 12:00 AM EST and close at 11:59 PM PST on February 19, 2021. Submissions before February 5, 2021, or after February 19, 2021, will not be considered.
  • Submission Components: To have a complete submission, it will have to include the following components:
  • Card on “Mad Hacks: Fury Code” challenge page
  • PowerPoint Slides attached to your card

Submission Instructions: Complete your submission using the following steps:

  1. Create an account on
  2. Scroll down to the “Submissions” area, and click “Add Submission”
  3. Put your team name in the “Title” bar, along with the name of your solution
  4. Add in details of your solution. Make sure to tag all members of your team (which means they’ll need accounts too!)
  5. Attach your PowerPoint slides. Find a template for the slides under the “Resources” tab of the challenge website
  6. If you have any other content you’d like to attach to show the evaluators (videos, a product demonstration, a pitch, anything!), attach it now. Note, there’s a 25MB limit on attachments. If you have a video you’d like to showcase, we encourage you to embed it in the “Details” section using YouTube
  7. When you are ready, scroll down and add “21-1 Submission” as a tag to your card.
  8. Submit the card, and you’re good to go!

A panel of judges will down-select teams on February 20 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM EST.

Teams will be expected to be on Discord to answer any questions from the judges on their submission.

Teams will be notified if they have met the cutoff to participate in the pitch competition on February 26, 2021 between 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM EST.

NSIN will announce the results following the conclusion of the pitch competition on February 26.

Teams selected for the final pitch round will be invited to a preparation session on February 21 between 12:00 - 3:00 PM EST. Our team will help coach you on your final round presentation and walk you through the requirements.


Submissions should describe your solution concept. The content is up to you, but your submission should be responsive to the criteria described in the scoring rubric below. Projects evaluations include your submissions’ content, so it is incumbent on you to include evidence that you have met as many of the criteria as possible. Submissions will consist of:

  • A PowerPoint based on the template in the “Resources” section of the “Mad Hacks: Fury Code” website
  • A card on the “Mad Hacks: Fury Code” website
  • Any other content you upload as part of your card (videos, product demos, pitches, etc.)

Scoring Rubric

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following rubric:

Impact (35%)

  • Problem Statement: How well do you define and scope the problem that your solution addresses?
  • Problem Alignment: How well does your Problem Statement align with the Challenge Statement and focus areas?
  • Need – DoD: How big is the DoD need for the proposed solution? What benefit does it provide over the status quo?
  • Need – Private Sector: How big is the private sector need for the proposed solution? What benefit does it provide over the status quo?

Team Membership and Execution (25%)

  • Diversity of Team Member: How diverse are the team members’ experience levels, skills, and backgrounds?
  • Hack Journey: How well did you incorporate new information learned during the online challenge into your solution? How did you use this information to iterate to improved solutions?
  • Customer Engagement: How well did you engage with online challenge mentors and subject matter experts and seek customer feedback?

Product/Service (40%)

  • Product/Service description: How well do you describe your product or service, its beneficial features, and how it is different from other available solutions?
  • Applicability: How well does the proposed solution apply to real-world operating conditions?
  • Practicality for Stakeholders: How practical is the solution for all stakeholders (not just end-users)?
  • Resources required to implement: How reasonable are the resources necessary to produce, field, and support the proposed solution? Are they appropriate in comparison to the benefit gained by fielding the solution?
  • Technical feasibility: How feasible is the scientific basis for the proposed solution?
  • Innovative approach: Is your approach based on out-of-date technologies or ground-breaking ideas?


A group of mentors will form the initial judging panel to down-select teams. After the online challenge has concluded, each judge will conduct evaluations of the submissions based on the scoring rubric above. The results will produce overall scores for each of the submissions. Once the results are complete, the judging panel will hold a deliberation session. The compiled results will inform the judging panel’s selection of teams to move forward for the pitch competition. A separate panel of judges will determine the “Mad Hacks: Fury Code” hackathon winners on February 26. Further information about the judges to be announced in the coming weeks.

Section 2. The Challenge


The Army’s utilization of human-controlled and autonomous vehicle platforms is steadily increasing. These systems play critical roles in the mobility and survivability of Army forces. While they offer significant advances in capability, they are also vulnerable to cyber attacks that could disable the system and leave troops unable to communicate and coordinate. Given the diversity of the vehicles being used by the Army, along with the adversary force capabilities, successful cyber-attacks are all but inevitable. Therefore, these systems must be resilient enough to support the missions that rely on them.

The Challenge

Develop concepts, technologies, or systems to help human-controlled and autonomous vehicles operate through cyber-attacks or other electronic warfare instances and return to a known good state with or without human intervention.

Focus Areas

This hackathon will focus on the following categories:

Resilience: Traditional cybersecurity practices may not work in areas where military vehicles tend to operate. For example, there may be limited/intermittent external communication and little or no opportunity for human engagement in detection, decision-making, or action taking. Key questions:

  • How can systems recover and continue the mission upon being compromised?
  • What are new methods for attaining resilient systems available given these constraints?
  • Which of these methods can be leveraged or built upon for a more resilient system or platform?

Situational Awareness / Situational Understanding: Vehicles must work together and Army personnel toward a commander’s intent; including the adversarial detection, alerting, and appropriate action taking necessary to remain resilient and the appropriate level of data sharing, trust, and collaboration, both system to system and system to decision-maker. Key questions:

  • Is there a way to better protect the vehicle and its systems to better understand its mission and operating environment?
  • Can situation awareness and understanding regarding vehicle cybersecurity status be obtained, shared, and utilized at higher levels to support the necessary decision-making processes?

Sustainment and Recovery: If systems are down due to a cyberattack, there is a need to ensure that the networks can return to a known good and stable state. The system should be designed with indicators to detect intrusion and have the ability to return to a baseline state. Key questions:

  • Who will be monitoring the system of vehicles at every level?
  • What happens if there is a system failure? Will the vehicle operators be responsible for bringing the technology back online?
  • What sorts of intrusion alerts could provide awareness of an active cyber attack?
  • What is the minimum baseline needed to continue operations?