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Bbc Announced A Hacking Challenge


3w`Sparky
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while snoozing this morning i heard something on the TV about a hacking challenge to find the best security persons out there , they are setting up a website that is to be hacked and information gained in order to get to the next step, anyone heard about this, like i say i was snoozing so can't remember much about what i heard but i think this is right ?

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That practice cipher challenge is pretty easy (and amusing), but I dunno what the actual real challenges are like. Heard about it on BBC Breakfast, but I don't really wanna sign up when I have no idea what I'll be up against. Not that I have any particular desire to work in security, I'm just curious about how far I could get really. Still, could be good if you're into that sort of thing, seems like there's levels for all different people, so good luck and have fun.

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That practice cipher challenge is pretty easy (and amusing), but I dunno what the actual real challenges are like. Heard about it on BBC Breakfast, but I don't really wanna sign up when I have no idea what I'll be up against. Not that I have any particular desire to work in security, I'm just curious about how far I could get really. Still, could be good if you're into that sort of thing, seems like there's levels for all different people, so good luck and have fun.

I'm not asking for the deciphered text, although it's been posted elsewhere. but I was wondering if you could explain your thought process as to how you decoded the message (assuming you did)? What first came to mind and why? etc.

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Well, it's obviously some sort of encoding or encryption, and sometimes there are certain things which can help identify what sort of encoding or encryption something is using. For example, this particular scheme uses a couple of notable characteristics you might find useful. You may also be able to use patterns to help you, but perhaps not in this case. There are several steps to this particular challenge, one is easier than the other and the result is amusing.

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As I am a security oriented person, it would be a real pleasure for me to take on this challenge. But I won't be able to do it since, I don't leave in the UK and don't have the time to flight over.

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As I am a security oriented person, it would be a real pleasure for me to take on this challenge. But I won't be able to do it since, I don't leave in the UK and don't have the time to flight over.

I believe you have to have been a UK resident for several years to enter the competition, but I'm sure there are similar schemes around the world, in fact there are challenges from a US organisation mentioned on that site. Maybe a little research would lead you to something a bit more local?

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Wow, that deciphering was EASY.

Yeah, you know, they said it was "mid-level" but it seemed pretty easy to me. Checking out some tweets about it though, the difficulty levels of the actual challenges vary wildly.

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ha, xkcd cartoon. was their more in that or did I miss something. Any steggo in it, file on their site is png, but the decoded one is jpg. Makes me think some hidden text message. Have to remember that steggo tool they covered a while back.

edit: Hmm. Stegdetect doesn't detect anything as stegonography about it, but that doesn't mean there couldn't be something it it.

Edited by digip
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I'm stuck with a 500-byte hex string. Any ideas?

Depends what the string is really...

Edit: I'm lazy, I ignored something really obvious this morning. Fail. >_>

Edit 2: I got it... well, sort of, looks like I'll have to manually punch in all those bits, but I know what's happening.

Edit 3: Orrrrr, I could go back to being lazy and write an app to do it for me. Yay!

Edited by moonlit
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I believe you have to have been a UK resident for several years to enter the competition, but I'm sure there are similar schemes around the world, in fact there are challenges from a US organisation mentioned on that site. Maybe a little research would lead you to something a bit more local?

Yeah that did cross my mind at some point. But will check it out from here in Australia. Thanks Moonlit!

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I should note that tihs isn't actually run by the BBC nor is it affiliated with them, it was promoted on the breakfast news show Monday morning.

Anyway, that said, I also have that hex string, after confusing myself a bunch of times.

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Apparently, its not standard stego stuff. Tried 72,306,374 phrases against it, nothing that simple. Was reading on twitter and facebook of others saying it is a hex phrase of either 500 or 1000 bytes but I'm not seeing the pattern. I'm not very good at this sort of thing, but its fun to try anyway.

Warning, supposedly the answer was posted on their facebook page so dont go reading through it if you intend to figure it out yourself. I for one dont want to know the answer, still trying to find the pattern. It has also been stated that some people were posting misleading clues to throw others off, so take it how you want, but I gather there is some pattern to be pulled out, then converted/deciphered.

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Apparently, its not standard stego stuff. Tried 72,306,374 phrases against it, nothing that simple. Was reading on twitter and facebook of others saying it is a hex phrase of either 500 or 1000 bytes but I'm not seeing the pattern. I'm not very good at this sort of thing, but its fun to try anyway.

Warning, supposedly the answer was posted on their facebook page so dont go reading through it if you intend to figure it out yourself. I for one dont want to know the answer, still trying to find the pattern. It has also been stated that some people were posting misleading clues to throw others off, so take it how you want, but I gather there is some pattern to be pulled out, then converted/deciphered.

I don't want to spoiler anything (I haven't even finished the challenge myself yet, it gets trickier), but it's not stego. Take a closer look at what you already have.

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