Puzzle Challenges « Get ready for the Next Big Thing

Puzzle Challenges

Puzzle 1

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! :D

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

Puzzle 2




Part I

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?”

Answer: 2009


Part II


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