Hackerspace Incognito Challenge

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Can you maintain a cover identity or catch someone under a cover identity within a period of a week?


Two teams, hackers and hackerspaces have a week to do this challenge. The timeframe will be predesignated to keep this simple.


  • Travel around the world to various hackerspaces under a cover identity.
  • Gather proof that you were at each hackerspace.
  • You are scored on how many proofs of your incognito visits you gather within the week.
  • Visits during which you are correctly identified do not count.
  • Bonus points for doing something cool in each hackerspace under your cover identity.


  • See if you can catch the hackers travelling incognito.
  • Gather proof that a hacker incognito was there and correctly reveal their identity.
  • You are scored on how many you can correctly identify and publicly reveal within the week.
  • Bonus points for doing something cool with them during their visit.


It's hackers vs hackerspaces in this game. Hackers need to keep and change their cover as long as possible and continue visiting spaces. Hackerspaces need to gather and share information to make it hard for the hackers to continue to travel and complete visits without being identified.


This challenge was inspired by:

  • LifeHacker's article on how to choose and maintain a cover identity: http://lifehacker.com/5960441/how-to-choose-and-maintain-a-cover-identity
  • The story of Englishman Harry Bensley, who in 1907 made a bet he could travel around the world on foot without being identified while doing the following:
    • He was to walk around the world but first through 169 British cities and towns in a specific order; to prove his visit he would have to collect a signature from a local prominent resident. After that he would begin a tour of 18 countries and would have to visit them, also in a pre-specified order.
    • Bensley was to finance himself, starting off with just GBP 1 and selling picture cards about himself.
    • Only a change of underclothes was allowed as baggage.
    • He was to complete the journey wearing an iron mask weighing 2 kg (4.5 lb) from a suit of armor.
    • He was to push a perambulator (baby carriage) the entire journey.
    • Another man was to accompany him to see that he fulfilled the conditions at all times.
    • On the journey he was to find a wife without her seeing his face.