The scariest moment is always just before you start, but every next level of your life will demand a different you, and little by little one travels far. - Stephen King & J.R.R. Tolkien


It’s a new year, and this year requires a different me. In this blog post, I will be showcasing the CTF challenges I created for the USIU hackathon event this year. It was an amazing experience, and due to time and other constraints, I never got the opportunity to create a lot of challenges. The ideas were there, trust me.

Having graduated from USIU last year (this-is-me), I was contacted and allowed to create another challenge for the students in the information security class to tackle, and I accepted the challenge.

This year I had to do things differently despite the time they had contacted me. It wasn’t easy because CTF creation isn’t a one, two, and three work. It requires a lot of time, google kung-fu, and foundation mastery. I also never had an idea of the number of people who were going to participate and their skill level, and that is why I decided to keep it simple as an introductory CTF.

Resources used; Azure VM (yeah, I roll like that 😂😂😂😂), CTFd deployed in the VM, Ubuntu VM on my local machine for creating the challenges, CherryTree for taking notes, and well, my brain 😅😅😅😅


There were three categories of challenges;

Category 1 Miscellaneous

This category contained three challenges where the first challenge was more on basic foundations (easy), the second challenge was on OSINT (easy), and the third challenge was on cryptography (medium).

Category 2: General

The second category also contained three challenges; where the first challenge contained a text file that had the flag inside it, and one was required to retrieve it (easy). The second challenge was almost like the first challenge, but with a twist (easy), there were two text files where one had the flag, and the third challenge was a zip file that was password protected with files where one had the password, and the other one contained the flag (hard).

Category 3: Steganography

The last category contained two challenges where the first challenge was a gif photo (easy) and the second challenge was a .hc file that contained some nice little goodies inside (medium).


Below are images to showcase how the playground looked like, with the challenges.


welcome page



I want to congratulate the USIU team for winning the CTF. I will post the challenges on my GitHub with hints to solve them.

Do try and solve the last challenge on steg. Some goodies are waiting for you.


© GR00T