Stuck on the #SANSBrochureChallenge? It’s Ending Soon! Read inside for hints!

By Jeff McJunkin

(Haven’t heard about the SANS Brochure Challenge? Catch up by reading here.)

As fun as it’s been, the SANS Brochure Challenge will be ending next week, on October 27th. Once it ends, an esteemed panel of judges (including Ed Skoudis, Tim Medin, Tom Hessman, and Jeff McJunkin) and their dart-throwing monkeys will pore through all the submitted challenge write-ups and select our winners!

If you’ve already submitted your write-up, remember that you can update it at any point before the deadline passes! Just send another email to the same address, with the same subject line.

What can I win?

There are three ways to win this contest — submit the *first* report, submit the best technical write-up, or win the random draw. Until the challenge closes on October 27th (any time zone, before midnight), the latter two categories are still up for grabs!

The person with the best technical write-up will receive a signed copy of the “Counter Hack Reloaded” book, as will the winner of the random drawing. As a bonus, your submission will be featured on the blog, and the entire Counter Hack team will brag about you endlessly!

Recap

Each of the four brochures listed in the previous article have an encoded secret URL. You need to find the encoded text, decode it, and then browse to the resulting URL.

Each of the four brochures is related to a set of three challenges — one challenge is within the brochure, one involving social media, and one involving a super-cool* technical challenge. Once you complete each challenge, you’ll get the bit.ly link that corresponds to that challenge.

Hints

Since each URL is unique, I’ve been able to examine which challenges have been the most difficult. Based off that analaysis, here are a few hints!

Challenge 2 (Baltimore Brochure) Level 1:

BY EXAMINING THE BROCHURE CHALLENGE BANNER, YOU MIGHT NOTICE THAT THERE ARE ONLY THREE CHARACTERS USED (DASH, DOT, AND SPACE) STOP THIS IS AN ENCODING METHOD YOU PROBABLY KNOW OF STOP

Challenge 3 (Seattle Brochure) Level 1:

Each of the four brochure’s challenges has a geeky theme, which many have noticed. Matt Groening and David X. Cohen would be very likely to recognize the encoded text in this brochure.

Challenge 4 (Network Security Brochure) Level 2:

In this challenge, you’re looking for evidence of a malicious user. You’ll need to look through the three other downloadable files from Challenge 1-3 Level 2. It’s either Alice, Bob, Carol, or Dave **.

Go forth, and good luck! Expect another blog post next week with our winners!

* Yes, I’m biased.

** Not terribly inventive of me, you think? I’ve always been curious as to what these folk talk about…

–Jeff McJunkin
Counter Hack