DEV Community


HTB CTF - Decode Me!!

caffiendkitten profile image DaNeil C Updated on ・2 min read
  • CTF Name: Decode Me!!
  • Resource: Hack The Box CTF
  • Difficulty: [30 pts] easy range

Note::: NO, I won't be posting my found FLAGS, but I will be posting the methods I used.


  • Hint: Try find the flag!
  • Acquired By:
    • First thing to do is obviously download the file and extract the file. While a lot of people will use the command line for this I usually just to my file folders. It's easy so why not.
    • Next is to just look at it.Alt Text At first it appears to be something that is Base64 encoded as the lines end with the usual "=" but this is not the case... yet. So first thing I did, like many others, is try to decode it like this, but it fails.
    • After a bunch of Googling and browsing the HTB fourms someone mentions a key and code so if we look into that we find the Fernet (symmetric encryption). This is a "symmetric encryption method which makes sure that the message encrypted cannot be manipulated/read without the key. It uses URL safe encoding for the keys. Fernet uses 128-bit AES in CBC mode and PKCS7 padding, with HMAC using SHA256 for authentication. The IV is created from os.random()." (1)
    • This produced something that was less than finished but it looks like there is another string of Base64 so lets decode that now.Alt TextThis is still not really helpful though...
    • Now it's time for MORE Googling and HTB forums and I got a hint about "Malbolge Tools". Malbolge is "Malbolge is a public domain esoteric programming language... that was specifically designed to be almost impossible to use, via a counter-intuitive 'crazy operation', base-three arithmetic, and self-altering code." (2)
    • Once I found the Malbolge Decoding tool I was able to throw in the new output and get the flag.Alt Text


This flag taught me the power of forums and getting help.
This flag was a crazy 3 step process that I would not have been able to get on my own. The input for the Malbolge Tool was something I have never seen before and don't think that I will see again outside of CTFs but I am glad I've seen it.

Happy Hacking


Please Note: that I am still learning and if something that I have stated is incorrect please let me know. I would love to learn more about what I may not understand fully.

Discussion (0)

Editor guide