We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen twenty-four...
September 25, 2019 5:39 AM Subscribe
THERE IS A TAVERN HERE. INSIDE THE TAVERN, YOU SEE VALIS. SELECT AN OPTION:
- GO (N)ORTH
- GO (E)AST
- (R)EVERSE ENGINEER A CUSTOM CPU FROM A SINGLE PROGRAM
Robert Xiao writes up how he and his teammates from Carnegie Mellon's Plaid Parliament of Pwning figured out how to beat an old-style text adventure game the hard way: by analyzing the binary of its program — written for a wholly-custom CPU.
This task was part of this year's DragonCTF Teaser. What's a CTF challenge? It's a competition for computer students and professionals where the goal is to Capture The Flag by solving tasks related to information security. For example, you might be given a program that asks for a password and need to figure out what that password is or how to bypass the password check. If you solve it, you can get a "flag" that proves you've done so. Sara Aladham works out an example of how this might be done as part of her beginner's guide to CTFing.
There are a number of CTF challenges throughout the world and many teams that compete in them; CTFtime keeps track of many of them.
How do you construct a CTF challenge? Check out the source code of the CPU challenge!
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