CTF & Advent of Coding

I recently have been looking into CTFs(Capture the Flags). Let me quote CTFTime.org on what a CTF is,

Capture the Flag (CTF) is a special kind of information security competitions. There are three common types of CTFs: Jeopardy, Attack-Defense and mixed. Jeopardy-style CTFs has a couple of questions (tasks) in range of categories. For example, Web, Forensic, Crypto, Binary or something else.


I had a no school on Monday so I started working on a CTF made by Security Innovation called canyouhack.us. I was successfully able to make it past the first level. I can’t do any spoilers but you should be able to get it really quickly if you know what you are doing. I started working on the second part of it then I realized I needed to install Kali on one of my VM’s. I had install when I was doing my homework. By the time I finished my homework it was around 10:00pm and I had to get up pretty early the next day for school(4:45am).

School was pretty boring all week. Out of my 8 classes I take a day 3 to 4 of them had a sub. The students at my school including myself actually like learning since we are all focused on a certain career field in the future, and my school provides difficult classes for us to take to excel in those fields. The probably most exciting thing that happened this week was me watching YouTube videos on my school provided laptop during chemistry. In my engineering class we were working on statistical probability of things happening, my friend and I have already taken majority of stats before so we were able to finish it in an hour meanwhile the rest of the class took 3 to 4 days to complete the packet. The packet consisted of just some simple stat questions, for example, if you flipped a coin 50 times what was the experimental probability that it will land on heads, 22 times thus making it a 44% chance of landing heads versus tales.

On November 30th I was browsing Reddit during class and I found something called the Advent of Code. Advent of Code(AoC) is an Advent calendar that provides a programming challenge everyday at midnight EST. I bookmarked the website, AdventofCode.com, and I continued browsing Reddit. The next day, I remembered the AoC and went to the website to what the first day’s problem looked like. In a shortened down version you were dropped at point (0,0) facing North. You were then given instructions like R2, L3 which says go right of North and proceed 2 blocks East and then go left and go 3 blocks North. I read through the instructions a bit and realized this was a bit like taxicab geometry, where you have a starting point and a ending point and you have to calculate how blocks away your ending point is away from your starting point. I found someones code on the subreddit /r/AdventOfCode and I modified it so it would work for me and I put in my input to get my end point then I used the taxicab geometry formula and found out how many blocks away it was and then I submitted it to the website, all using a Python IDE online. I have completed days 1 thru 3 already.