UIUCTF 2023 - OSINT ┻┳|・ω・)

Finding Artifacts 1: 50 points

David is on a trip to collect and document some of the world’s greatest artifacts. He is looking for a coveted bronze statue of the “Excellent One” in New York City. What museum is this located at?

Hint 0:
The first two characters of the statue begin with "ma"

Hint 1:
It is very prevalent in southern Asia

Our list of clues:

​ "Excellent One"; NYC; museum; coveted; bronze statue; "Ma..."; Asia

The Asian hint is pretty hard to find through normal search so I chose Google search for images. By using some Google search tips like "Excellent One" to find a precise name and Ma* to find a statue name beginning with "Ma" we can find some interesting results :

Searched: "Excellent One" NYC museum bronze statue Ma*


Searched: "Excellent One" statue NYC


What's for Dinner?: 50 points

Jonah Explorer, world renowned, recently landed in the city of Chicago. He was spotted at a joyful Italian restaurant in West Loop. He uses a well known social network and loves documenting his travels and reviewing his food. Find his online profile.

Hint 0:
what does joy translate to?

I shortened the challenge's text to just what we need. We are looking for an Italian restaurant in West Loop with for only clue the importance of the word "joy". It is not far-stretched that Hint 0 asks us to translate "joy" in Italian so we get "Gioia".

By searching "gioia italian restaurant chicago" on Google we get only 1 restaurant, Gioia Chicago. Jackpot !

By clicking the first link for Yelp.com we find a 2 weeks old review from Jonah E., our Jonah Explorer.



Finding Jonah?: 50 points

Jonah offered a reward to whoever can find out what hotel he is staying in. Based on the past information, can you find out what the hotel he stayed at was?


So we need to find from what Inn in West Loop Chicago this picture was taken from... Let's fire Google Earth 🌎



Welcome to West Loop! On What's For Dinner I didn't tell anything but I spent a lot of time on this map. The hint for Gioia was really essential I suppose... If we come back to our challenge, we can spot tall buildings only on the right edge of West Loop.

We will try to spot theses "obvious" architectural elements from the given picture :

image-20230703151236731.png|100 and image-20230703151254295.png|100

Why theses? By looking on Google Earth there are ~4 antennas and ~2 round buildings. Let's find the needle ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ


Luckily for us there is only 1 building that matches our search! (tall + oval on 2 side + right on 2 side)


And then you see the big picture! ⊂◉‿◉つ

image-20230703152228337.png|400 image-20230703152348180.png|250


When we have had enough fun we can flag by looking up the hotel name on Google map ʕ༼◕ ౪ ◕✿༽ʔ

Jonah's Journal: 50 Points

Jonah took notes into an online notebook and pushed his changes there. His usernames have been relatively consistent but what country is he going to next?

Hint 0:
forks, trees, pushing, and pulling

Well there is only one app with forks, trees, pushing and pulling... Let's go on Git, starting from Github!




Soooooooooooooo :




2 commits ahead ...


First class mail: 50 Points

Jonah posted a picture online with random things on a table. Can you find out what zip code he is located in?

Hint 0:
I think code is cool


So this challenge is pretty easy if you skip ALL the random bullshit. Here is a list of some very deep rabbit holes you can fall in and waste hours on :

After all of that you can search this image-20230703161358231.png|200 on Google and find it's a POSTNET code

Translated it's: 0100110011110011100111110011100111001101011001101100

You can use Wikipedia's table to decode the number or just throw it to Dcode “ψ (`∇´) ψ



It was a really fun and diversified capture the flag OSINT-wise. We had fun exploring reviews, maps, social networks and discovering nice ways to hide some stuff to the naked eye. Most importantly we learned to always keep looking and to clean our goddamn metadata!

See you next time! (˵ ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°˵)ノ⌒♡*:・。.