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CTF's My CTF's

PowerGrid CTF

This is my second CTF exercise that I have developed. It is rated as ‘Hard’.

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Synopsis:

Cyber criminals have taken over the energy grid across Europe. As a member of the security service, you’re tasked with breaking into their server, gaining root access, and preventing them from launching their malware before it’s too late.

We know from previous intelligence that this group sometimes use weak passwords. We recommend you look at this attack vector first – make sure you configure your tools properly. We do not have time to waste.

Unfortunately, the criminals have started a 3 hour clock. Can you get to their server in time before their malware is deployed and they destroy the evidence on their server?

The types of vulnerability/techniques used in this CTF can be seen below (they are intentionally hidden by default):

This exercise is designed to be completed in one sitting. Shutting down the virtual machine will not pause the timer. After the timer has finished, the CTF machine will be shut down and you will be unable to boot it. Please keep a local backup of the CTF prior to starting, in case you wish to attempt a second time.

If you are to succeed, I strongly recommend reading these points:

  • Keep a local backup before starting in case you run out of time
  • You will need a basic understanding of the GPG tool and how it works
  • Configure your tools so they work at the maximum/hardest level possible. Make sure you are looping around the correct thing, if you know what I mean
  • Getting the initial shell is possibly the longest part.
  • There are four flags in total. Each flag file will guide you to the next area

This virtual machine has been tested in VirtualBox only. I cannot guarantee it will work on VMWare, but it should be okay.

You can download the CTF here. I look forward to your feedback.

SHA-256: 8bc79937082748c21de14c5da3772f7fc750d52b68cf27816922186f6e68d6b7
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Version NumberDescription of ChangesDate of Change
1.0Initial release20/05/2020
1.1Stability release – changed some network settings to make this work correctly in non-VirtualBox setups26/05/2020
Categories
Podcasts

DarkNet Diaries

I’m not sure whether you have all heard of DarkNet Diaries, but if you haven’t, I strongly recommend it.

DarkNet Diaries is a podcast about hackers, breaches, shadow government activity, hacktivism, cybercrime, and all the things that dwell on the hidden parts of the network.

I’ve never listened to podcasts generally as they’ve never taken my interest, but since starting DarkNet Diaries, I have been hooked, and have listened to every episode. Each episode goes into a great level of detail, so it is very interesting hearing about these security stories every other week (episodes are released every other Tuesday).

Some of my favourite episodes:

  • Episode 4 – Panic! At the TalkTalk Board Room – this episode covers the October 2015 breach at UK Internet Service Provider TalkTalk.
  • Episode 18 – Jackpot – A man addicted to gambling finds a bug in a video poker machine that lets him win excessive amounts of money.
  • Episode 29 – Stuxnet – Stuxnet was the most sophisticated virus ever discovered. Its target was a nuclear enrichment facility in Iran. This virus was successfully able to destroy numerous centrifuges. Hear who did it and why.
  • Episode 30 – Shamoon – Saudi Aramco was hit with the most destructive virus ever. Thousands and thousands of computers were destroyed. Herculean efforts were made to restore them to operational status again.
  • Episode 31 – In late November 2018, a hacker found over 50,000 printers were exposed to the Internet in ways they shouldn’t have been. He wanted to raise awareness of this problem, and got himself into a whole heap of trouble.
  • Episode 33 – RockYou- In 2009 a hacker broke into a website with millions of users and downloaded the entire user database. What that hacker did with the data has changed the way we view account security even today.
  • Episode 36 – Jeremy from Marketing – A company hires a penetration tester to pose as a new hire, Jeremy from Marketing, to see how much he can hack into in his first week on the job. It doesn’t go as planned.

This is just a small extract of some of my favourite episodes. If you haven’t listened already, you can listen to them here.