How I solved @onealfa 's third contest

in LeoFinance3 months ago

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For those who haven’t noticed yet, @onealfa has organized some very cool contests recently. All riddles have something to do with encryption.

The puzzles are real brain teasers. I wasn’t able to solve the first two of them, but I was lucky enough to be the first one to solve the third one.

Some people were asking how I managed to solve this puzzle, so I decided to create a post about it.
Before I explain how I managed to solve the third quiz I’ll show you the first two quizzes as well.

Quiz #1

For this contest you needed to find the correct private key for a Hex and binary code that was on a piece of paper.

https://leofinance.io/@onealfa/quiz-on-crypto-win-20-leo

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The first riddle was solved by @cryptosneeze
He won the amazing amount of 44 Leo which was $20 at that time (do you remember Leo being $0.45 cents, haha)
The solution to this riddle can be found here!
https://leofinance.io/@onealfa/44-leo-quiz-solved

Quiz #2

Quiz number two was about a 24 word passphrase. These are often used for protecting crypto wallets.

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The string contains a five word secret phrase. @onealfa gave the contest an extra twist by increasing the prize money every day. The longer you wait to publish your answer the more the higher the prize money, but also the higher the chances of someone else grabbing the prize. The prize was 512 Leo on day 7; an agonizing dilemma if you ask me.

This puzzle was solved in less than 28 hours by @krishare who earned 8 Leo.
https://leofinance.io/@onealfa/puzzle-solved

Quiz #3

The latest contest was posted this week. It was a collaboration with @rival
And I was the lucky one to be the first to solve the puzzle.
https://leofinance.io/@onealfa/contest-hiden-text

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In this quiz there was a six word message hidden in an image.
The first thing that stood out was the QR code. I used an online QR code scanner to find out where it leads.
The QR code lead me to the following website:
https://www.mobilefish.com/services/steganography/steganography.php
The site contains an online steganography service where you can hide messages inside image files.

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After uploading the image in this tool I received the message that no hidden message or file was in the image.
This would have been way too easy compared to the previous contests, so I was looking for other ways to find the solution.
As many others did I inspected the image very well. I opened it in my Gimp Photo editor and zoomed in to see if I could spot some clues. I also changed the hue/saturation, inverted colours etc. which sometimes reveals things in a photo.
When I couldn’t find any clues I started looking at the file itself. I checked the name and other properties of the file to see if that stored some more info, but again no luck…

Then I decided to open the image in a text editor.
This resulted in a lot of gibberish:

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But when I looked closely I saw something I recognized at the end of the file.
There was a HEX code attached to the image file; YES!
After converting the HEX code to text I received “LeoFinanceContest”.

But @onealfo mentioned it had to be a 6 word phrase and I only had 3…
After inspecting the file in the text editor for a while I didn’t find anything that could produce the other three words.
And then I thought about the online steganography service again. I suddenly remembered there was a password field as well.
Although the error message didn’t mention I used a wrong password I decided to fill in the 3-word phrase as a password.

And this was the result:

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I would like to thank @onealfa for the quizzes. They are really fun, challenging and educational (and @rival for the third one).
Hopefully you will create more of them.


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FriendlyMoose

I'm crypto and security enthousiast with a passion for photography that likes to play games.


Follow me on noise.cash: FriendlyMoose
My photos on Wax: wax.atomichub.io
I play Cryptobrewmaster
I play Sorare Fanstasy Football
I'm using Binance to trade crypto

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Very nice job. It's nice to know the solution afterwards. I gave up after trying the QR code.

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Nice that you share how you came to solve this quizzle ... I was looking for it too but never thought of uploading the image in a texteditor.

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Thanks for sharing & Congrats :)
I hope I ll find the time to try once in the future!

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Thank you from taking away from me this obligation to post a detailed description of the puzzle solution. As you see I am already 2 days late with this
Just got to busy with the CUB DEFI things, they are so attractive. 😀
No time to do what I have to...

BTW, it was entertaining to read, which route the participants been going.
I like the part, where you thought HEX string could be the right answer, but was to short, only 3 words instead of 6 :)


toruk_washere_new3leo.jpg

More info why you see this.

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@onealfa.leo

Just got to busy with the CUB DEFI things, they are so attractive.

lol they are really so attractive,many have started doing the CUB Farming already and making money....

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@friendlymoose you did a wonderful job and i love the way you brilliantly won the great contest by @onealfa.leo

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Ah nice one, opening the file in a text editor... not sure if I would have got to that point and even than I am not sure I would thought anything special about the hex code. Good Job Mr Moose, congrats on winning the contest.

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Thanks mate!

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You're the master, haha!

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this one you dug deep, congratulations

I look forward to the next contest

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Thank you for this very good post. I was surprised you find the solution so quickly. I guess the next one must be a lot harder to solve. I also want to thank @onealfa for posting it. For me as a new Leo I won't have much visibility.

Have a great weekend everyone

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You're welcome.
Yes, I think I raised the bar a bit with the next one. Although I was lucky to find the solution on the last one this quickly.

Have a great weekend too.

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Hey that's actually really cool!!! Honestly enjoyed reading how you figured it out and what you did. Most of those I wouldn't have thought of such as opening the image in a text file and spotting the text at the bottom. Smart thinking!

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Thanks! That's what these contest are; educational and fun.
Out of the box thinking that is.
I have created a new contest myself now.

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You shared a very good tip. I learned a lot from this topic. I'm requesting to share some more new topics like this.

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Thanks! I actually created a new contest myself yesterday.

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Congrats again on this. I thought I was close, but then I was a bit humbled to find that I wasn't as close as I thought I was due to some technical glitches. After you told me the rest, I don't think I would have been the first to get there anyway.

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You are good!

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Thank you for explaining how you did it ( a very few people disclose it ;p ) . Next time atleast I know I can use online tools for the puzzles lol.

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This way we will all learn from it.

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You are right . I actually tried all the puzzles posted from @onealfa but never even got close to it and one of the mistake I did was to assume "using online tool won't help" .

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Go for it next time.

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i could never solved it!

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Well done mate!! Makes up for the fact you can't predict a simple football match lol ;-)
I need to up my prizes!!

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I'm swimming in my Sports tokens mate ;)
Screenshot 20210312 180417.jpg

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Wow. I didn't even think about opening it in a text editor. You got sherlocking skillz.

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Wow this is cool. I woulnnt have gone past zooming the image in and out. 😂 Congratulations and thanks for sharing the solution.

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Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Week 48 of my contest just started...you can now check the winners of the previous week!
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I give you guys credit. It's amazing to see you be able to hunt down all this info. I also want to thank @onealfa.leo for these contest. They bring great visibility to the community.

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Ouch 😂. I opened it in notepad but totally overlooked the hex code even though I probably looked right at it.

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Very Sorry,
My Account was Hacked!

WHAT ? MASTER PASSWORD ?!

Smells like scam.
NEVER EVER anywhere will I enter my MASTER password. Even if you promise me a 500,000 HIVE bounty

Just don't do it !

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It's a mass phishing on the platform, unfortunately going on for few weeks already, they just change the landing page. The first time I saw it and reported it to HW there were few users affected. I suppose by now there are tens of them. :( It would be interesting to see where all the stolen tokens go to.

SCAM ALERT!