Wednesday, 15 January 2014

[HACKYOU 2014] crypto300 - Matrix

So for this crypto challenge, you're given a file,, and another file, flag.wmv.out. Looking at the encrypter file, you can tell that the original file is broken up into blocks of 16 bytes each which are then transformed into 4x4 matrices. Each of these matrices is then multiplied by a key that was generated earlier and the resulting matrix is turned back into a string of bytes and written to the output file.

The key to this challenge was to take a look at the specification for the file format.
WMV file is in most circumstances encapsulated in the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) container format.
Looking at the ASF specification, these types of file usually start with a 16 byte GUID that identifies the file type. This hints at a known-plaintext attack. Using some basic linear algebra, given the plaintext and the ciphertext for the first 16 bytes of the file, it is possible to recover the key matrix. Once this key matrix is recovered, the rest of the file can be decrypted and the original wmv file can be recovered. The details of the steps involving the calculations are explained in comments in the code below.

Once the file has been decrypted, the wmv file is playable and it reveals the flag.

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