The puzzle was provided as a PDF.
There were goodies all over this image. The QR codes decode as
1. “Hello World”
2. “This QR Code is left intentionally blank.”
3. Simple substitution cipher of: “If you can read this please tweet a thank you to @banasidhe and @jack_daniel for all of the hard work they put in for BSides Las Vegas”
Thank banasidhe & jack_daniel!
The Spanish chunk on the right translates roughly (via Google translate) as:
“thirteen simple steps that lead to this puzzle to friends talk about safety with cool drinks and free information”
But the chunk we care about is on the left:
This jumble appears to be a simple substitution cipher which is confirmed by copying it into a tool like quipquip (www.quipquip.com) which will try substitutions and score the solution against a dictionary. This leads to the cleartext message: “What is the address of the first Bsides Las Vegas?” Checking through the BSidesLV archives points to the answer:
5975 W. Quail Ave.
Las Vegas, NV
The winner of our first #puzzle was @sibios
At first glance the puzzle appears to be a cypher of some sort. In actuality it is a word search, with plenty of BSidesLV references. One could spend a lot of time searching for the words and phrases, but in actuality this is a matter of seeing the forest from the trees.
The completion of the word search is pointless and leads nowhere. A careful observation will note the top-most row and the right side are a ROT13 or Rotational Cypher 13.
Upon extraction of this string we get the following ROT13 sequence: jungjnfgurlrnebsgursvefgofvqrf
This sequence translated from ROT13 yields: whatwastheyearofthefirstbsides
So we see it is a question: “What was the year of the first BSides?”
QR code when scanned read:
“If you can read this please tweet a thank you to all of the @BSidesLV 2014 sponsors, thanking them for their support.”
The winner of our second #puzzle was @BIG_Dadee