Avast Challenge, Hack Cambridge 2018 : WRITE-UP
The Avast challenge was a Roman-themed CTF open to all participants in Hack Cambridge 2018. For 24 hours we had to solve all 5 levels and the first team to make it was proclaimed the winner.
I couldn't miss the Avast stand, who were giving away mysterious flash drives with a secret challenge. Come on, who could resist? I happily devoted my second half of the day exclusively to this puzzle.
TL;DR: It was tough. The challenge covered a large variety of topics, some of which I had no experience in. Despite that, it was probably the most entertainable puzzle I have ever solved. I couldn't finish all of the levels on-site, but I took them as homework and over the next week completed the challenge. It was an incredible experience and I learned so much that I could not have learned otherwise. Props to level 1 and 5 for keeping me busy for a lot longer than I would like to admit. Often times the hardest part is looking at things simply, without overcomplicating what is supposed to be mainstream.
Full credits and many thanks to the Avast team for creating this crazy CTF. Special props to Martin Hron for assisting me throughout the challenge, even after the event was over.
Finally, greetings to my friends Kieran Litschel, Freddie Bawden, Alex Brisan, Matevž Poljanc, Rhys Saldanha, and anyone else who helped or took part in the challenge.