Secure Auth v0

Reverse Engineering


One of NorzhNuclea's developers joined the team last quarter, specialized in authentication systems he found one he developed a few years ago with a innovative obfuscation method. Find the correct password to validate the checks.

by Masterfox


Decompiling the binary shows that it’s filled with a large number of NOPs.

However, it turns out we can use ltrace to view the library calls and see the strcmp parameters. This is the part where our password gets checked against a hardcoded string.

Our password goes through some transformation before being compared, so we have to fuzz the input to understand what transformations are being applied. From the above screenshot, we can see that 4 characters are processed at a time.

By changing one character at a time, we can understand how these 4 characters are transformed.

  • 4 characters are processed at a time

  • First character of plaintext, p1 is related to the fourth character of ciphertext c4

  • p2 is related to c3

  • p3 is related to c2

  • p4 is related to c1

  • By incrementing one character at a time, we know that this is a substitution cipher.

The solution is as follows:

TARGET = "c-n|TD^zJFp|I'q\"VCj7.mNj4"

result = b''

low = 0
high = 4
while high < len(TARGET):
    chars = TARGET[low:high]

    c1 = chr(ord(chars[3]) - 27)
    c4 = chr(ord(chars[0]) + 26)

    c2 = chr(ord(chars[2]) + 4)
    c3 = chr(ord(chars[1]) - 19)

    if c1 < ' ':
        c1 = chr(ord('{') + ord(c1) - 0x1c)

    if c3 < ' ':
        c3 = chr(ord('{') + ord(c3) - 0x1c)

    print(c1.encode() + c2.encode() + c3.encode() + c4.encode())
    result = c1.encode() + c2.encode() + c3.encode() + c4.encode() + result

    low = high
    high += 4

result = chr(ord('a') + ord(TARGET[-1]) - ord('G')).encode() + result


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