hacker.org Forum Index
RegisterSearchFAQMemberlistUsergroupsLog in
Resources to help with challenges?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Reply to topic    hacker.org Forum Index » Challenges View previous topic
View next topic
Resources to help with challenges?
Author Message
destiny



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 25
Location: UK

Post Resources to help with challenges? Reply with quote
Hi all,

It feels like I'm finally reaching the limits of what I can currently achieve in the challenges, so I wanted to ask if you know any good resources to use in general for the crypto, hvm and misc sections. By resources I mean books, tools, online learning sites or whatever else might be useful for me and others in a similar position.

In the crypto section there are a few image challenges like fuzzy dust, blizzard, lucy in the sky with briolettes, butterfly effect where I have no clue where to start (apart from a wiki page for the last 2). Then there are a few 'normal' cryptos like right key left, state your position, beautiful city and not smaller yet which I can't really find any information for. Is there any suggested reading material to improve in this area so that I can eventually find useful hints?

For programming what would a good read be for understanding HVM challenges better? The earlier HVM are manageable but then when it gets more complicated I don't always understand what's going on. Is it a matter of learning more assembly code?

Finally, for misc challenges there are again a few image ones which aren't obvious at all where to start like rainbow in the dark, unusual colors and where am I. Is there a way to learn some general stuff that will help me with these, or is it pure experimental and investigation with a bit of luck?

I really enjoy this website and I want to see even more challenges, so I hope there are some people around to give some advice Smile

Edit: some general resource links found from here http://www.advogato.org/person/dangermaus/diary.html



Last edited by destiny on Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:29 pm View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 487
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
Well, if you don't know a programming language yet, now would be a good time to start learning one.

The HVM challenges... honestly, I think they are a failure in an otherwise awesome website. Wink
You can solve some of them once you have understood how to program e.g. a loop in HVM. Which leads you to the start of this post.

About hiding information in a picture: This is called steganography. There are different ways to do this.

Oh yeah, and there are also the discussion threads of course. Feel free to ask any question you might have about a specific challenge.
Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:16 pm View user's profile Send private message
destiny



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 25
Location: UK

Post Reply with quote
I've been coding for most challenges where I can, probably about 95% in Ruby and some in PHP & C. I'm just an average coder at best, but that's why I'm trying out sites like this to learn more Very Happy

The reason I made a generic post is because to be honest, there isn't much activity in challenge specific threads. I've asked a few questions but I haven't got any reply for months, which is why I just wanted to see if anyone could provide some generic resources in a few specific areas that I'm currently lacking.
Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:09 pm View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 487
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
I could be mistaken but the one challenge where I see a question of yours that has not been answered is "Find Me". Correct? Oh yeah and "Duke Box". I don't have access to that one so I can't really say anything about it.

"Find Me" was stupid. Well the idea behind it was good, but it was not executed well. I'll write something about it in the appropriate thread.
Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:30 am View user's profile Send private message
destiny



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 25
Location: UK

Post Reply with quote
Yes I didn't receive answers for those two. "Duke Box" is a strange one since people in the thread talk about randomly incrementing letters in the crypt text to solve it which sounds ridiculous. Just like how I don't know how you can solve "Find Me" without properly calculating the right coordinates! Rolling Eyes

There are some other challenges which I'm stuck with but people have already asked the relevant question so I don't need to such as http://www.hacker.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2553 - which has over 500 views but no replies Sad

But today I did find one tool which apparently verified that there was a stego in all the image challenges that I listed in the first post except for butterfly effect, and it also listed the number of bytes in the secret message and the algorithm/method used to detect it. The tool doesn't extract those secret bytes unfortunately, but it's a start.
Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:58 am View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 487
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
destiny wrote:
Just like how I don't know how you can solve "Find Me" without properly calculating the right coordinates!


It's called an educated guess. Wink
Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:03 am View user's profile Send private message
rmplpmpl



Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 113
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
I haven't been able to solve Find Me yet. I tried some approaches but there are quite a few possibilities for coordinates there. I guess, I would crack it if I really tried.

Speaking of Fuzzy Dust - it tool me really long to solve this, though it is very easy. On the other hand it is very hard to give hints on it to bring you into the correct direction without spoiling the fun. This is true for many challenges. I try it anyway: you should examine the file type, and you should have a meta-look at the picture. Perhaps you find something odd.
Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:21 am View user's profile Send private message
eulerscheZahl



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Posts: 57
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
Thanks, the hint for Fuzzy Dust was enough.
After finding the odd thing, it was a matter of 10 minutes.
Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:47 pm View user's profile Send private message
destiny



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 25
Location: UK

Post Reply with quote
I found one thing that was wrong in fuzzy dust, but I haven't been able to get anything else out of it yet. I did find something else but that lead to a dead end.

Anyway, to actually answer my own original post I added some links to my first post for things I found from dangermouse's blog.
Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:50 pm View user's profile Send private message
destiny



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 25
Location: UK

Post Reply with quote
Oh I forgot to mention tron's super useful map which I've been using to find the best routes to unlock the challenges that I want to attempt: http://tron.yamagi.org/zeug/map.svg
Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:16 pm View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 487
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
destiny wrote:
tron's super useful map which I've been using to find the best routes to unlock the challenges that I want to attempt: http://tron.yamagi.org/zeug/map.svg


I still think it is not cool that Spiral Bits is blocking off so many other challenges, some of them being quite a bit easier to solve from all that I have heard about them. Of course, I feel that way mostly because I can never get off my lazy ass to actually finish my Java solver which I have started to code but never quite finished. Wink
Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:15 am View user's profile Send private message
destiny



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 25
Location: UK

Post Reply with quote
Yes you're right, I think that Spiral Bits is harder than the other coding challenges that come after it...for those that I've seen so far. Also, in the solved thread there were a couple of people who said that they did Spiral Bits by hand Shocked

It's a Very Small World also blocks off a number of challenges (8 vs 9 for Spiral Bits), but I haven't reached that far yet.
Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:58 pm View user's profile Send private message
Hippo



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 339
Location: Praha 5

Post Reply with quote
destiny wrote:

It's a Very Small World also blocks off a number of challenges (8 vs 9 for Spiral Bits), but I haven't reached that far yet.


Yes, but those are not much easier than the blocking challenge.

I am currently blocked on serial puzzles ... Smile the modulo one, as well as bricolage and mortalcoil ...
but last 3 months I spent only small time codding the challenges.

And the rats serie block me as well Sad. ... Good to know only two levels remaining;).
Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:33 pm View user's profile Send private message
bsguedes



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Location: Porto Alegre

Post Reply with quote
AMindForeverVoyaging wrote:
destiny wrote:
tron's super useful map which I've been using to find the best routes to unlock the challenges that I want to attempt: http://tron.yamagi.org/zeug/map.svg


I still think it is not cool that Spiral Bits is blocking off so many other challenges, some of them being quite a bit easier to solve from all that I have heard about them. Of course, I feel that way mostly because I can never get off my lazy ass to actually finish my Java solver which I have started to code but never quite finished. Wink


Well, what can I say... Spiral Bits is totally worth doing (see here http://tron.yamagi.org/zeug/map.svg) because there are at least 30 challenges coming from there and they are worth so many juicy points Smile

It is a coding challenge and it is very clear what to do... I think that it is fair that this kind of challenge is assigned to a castle... having an obscure crypto challenge blocking your way would be very frustrating!
Sat May 30, 2015 2:34 am View user's profile Send private message
AMindForeverVoyaging
Forum Admin


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 487
Location: Germany

Post Reply with quote
bsguedes wrote:

Well, what can I say... Spiral Bits is totally worth doing (see here http://tron.yamagi.org/zeug/map.svg) because there are at least 30 challenges coming from there and they are worth so many juicy points Smile

It is a coding challenge and it is very clear what to do... I think that it is fair that this kind of challenge is assigned to a castle... having an obscure crypto challenge blocking your way would be very frustrating!


Sure. It just doesn't make much sense that a difficult challenge is blocking off the access to easier ones.
Sat May 30, 2015 7:04 am View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:    
Reply to topic    hacker.org Forum Index » Challenges All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to: 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Design by Freestyle XL / Flowers Online.