Argonne National Laboratory: Cyber Security and Crypto Puzzles

November 20, 2019 posted by


Hey everyone my name is Jennifer Fowler And I’m a cyber security analyst here at Argonne National Laboratory right in Illinois in a few weeks I’ll be seeing you for NIU’s STEM Read event based off of the book feed in the book feed It’s a very technologically driven society and kids are always into their feed that goes into their brain And then what happens in this book is the kids get their feed hacked and everything kind of goes into a calamity As a cyber security analyst here our goal is to try and prevent hackers from Infiltrating devices that we rely on every day for society’s needs and the word hacking kind of has a lot of meanings But the meaning that I like to put to it is Making a device or system do something that it’s not intended to do so to kind of demonstrate this I created a bunch of crypto puzzles that you can solve on your own time if you’d like and the goal of this is to Try and break into the puzzle or hack the puzzle and solve for the answer So I’ll be kind of demonstrating that for you today in my first crypto puzzle named Genesis So oftentimes in computer science and information security things aren’t always what they seem so on the base here You can kind of see that this image has a bunch of text on it on the left hand side There’s a bunch of zeros and ones which is binary Which computers use to communicate and then on the right-hand side of the bunny, you can see that there’s also some kind of Letters and that’s actually base64 Which is a different way of encoding data? And then you can see that there are a bunch of numbers further to the right with decimals in between and that actually relates to a book cipher So if we look here, there are a couple of different pieces to decrypt There’s the binary on the left-hand side which we can just pop into a binary to ASCII converter. There’s the base64 That’s right, alongside the bunny And then there is the book cipher which we have to decrypt and as I had mentioned before things aren’t always what they seem So there’s actually another image hidden within this base image And that’s called steganography and that’s just the process of embedding something into a file and so in order to extract this information You use a program called Steg hide where you now that we know the passphrase You enter that in and you can then extract the hidden image embedded within this base image So we’ve successfully cracked this puzzle if you’re interested in learning more feel free to ask me a question I’ll see you in a few weeks

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