Red Balloon Security SummerCON CFT Write Up: Happy Saving Customers


On June 14th & 15th, 2019 couple CTF enthusiast participated to solve the Red Balloon Security CTF challenge at SummerCON announced here. For those who aren’t familiar with SummerCON, it’s a small 2-day hackers' conference organized and led by volunteers in New York City. Think of its culture similar to DEFCON.

To kick off the game, each player collects two ATM card: a debit and a credit card. The tasks are to find the flag to load money into the issued ATM cards. Each flag has to be submitted in a form of<flag.html>.
There were only three levels but required some strategic thinking to go through them.

Flag 1: w1ndows - difficulty 1/5

The debit card has to be re-programmed.
The solution was to decode hex encoded value that was on the home page Below is the hex value, and you can decode it here:

446f2079 6f75206b 6e6f7720 74686973 2041544d 2072756e 73206f6e 2057696e 646f7773 20434520 362e303f 2077316e 646f7773 5f63335f 72756c65 7a2e6874 6d6c

After successfully decoded the above hex string, the next step is to insert the flag into this URL<flag.html>, go to the page to get a 16 digit number for the debit card re-programing. A card reader was provided by Red Balloon Security. This allowed players to reprogram the debit card. Once the card has been programmed with the new number, automatically $11 is awareded and load into the card which can be withdrawn at the ATM. Yeeh, Free Lunch!!! But, you can only withdraw $10 beacuse there is $1 transaction fee.

Level 2 - ST3GO - (difficulty: 2.5/5).
The hint (below) for this flag has a similarity with this quote by J.R. R Tolkien from “The One Ring”:

One Code Rule them all, One Code Find them All,
Once Code to bring them Together,
and one Character to bind them.
What Code am I?"

Got a hint? Drop me a message!

More to come soon, stay tuned!