capture the flag, hacking

PicoCTF 2017 – Mystery Box

Another day, another challenge.

In today’s blog post we will be solving the “Mystery Box” challenge from the PicoCTF.

Let’s get started.

Clicking on the challenge we see:


OK, we have a mystery machine, with a stick note, and a picture.

Clicking on the sticky note link we see:

OK… we have a note. This is going to be useful later.

Clicking on the picture link we see:


Going back to the challenge and click on the hints we see:


OK. The hints tell us that this box uses gear and it was used from the naval services. Also we have the name of Turing… let’s see what Google would provide us.

Doing a Google search of “Turing machine naval” we get the following link.

This link is the enigma machine emulator.

The enigma machine was used in WW2 (World War 2) to help crack secret messages from Nazi Germany.

The person who was responsible for this machine was Alan Turing. Alan Turing was the father of computer science. He was a computer scientist, mathematician, logician, etc. If you want to read more about his life, click here.

Going back to the enigma machine emulator we see:


Hmm… we see that the words are similar to are listed in the note.

Let’s use that to figure out what the enigma machine will return us.

After entering the information we get:


Hmm… The enigma machine returned – “quite puzzling indeed”.

Putting this in as the flag, we acquired 60 points!!

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