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Before yesterdayThreat Research

2015 FLARE-ON Challenge Solutions

8 September 2015 at 14:56

The first few challenges narrowed the playing field drastically, with most serious contestants holding firm through challenges 4-9. The last two increased the difficulty level and proved a difficult final series of challenges for a well-earned finish line.

The FLARE On Challenge always reaches a very wide international audience. Outside of the USA, this year’s country with the most finishers was China, with and impressive 11 winners. I hope that massive shipment of belt buckles doesn’t get caught up in customs! The performance of contestants from Vietnam and Slovakia were also particularly commendable, as both held early leads in total finishers. Based on the locations we are sending the challenge prizes to (people who responded with their shipping info by noon today) we can say that 33 countries had finishers this year. This next graphs shows the total winners by country this year.

And without further ado, here are the solutions for this year’s challenges, each written by their respective challenge creator.

1.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #1 Β 

2.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #2 Β 

3.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #3 Β 

4.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #4 Β 

5.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #5 Β 

6.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #6 Β 

7.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #7 Β 

8.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #8 Β 

9.Β Β Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #9 Β 

10.Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #10 Β 

11.Β Β  CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION #11 Β 

We hope you had fun and learned something new about reverse engineering! Stay tuned for the third FLARE On Challenge coming in 2016!

2019 Flare-On Challenge Solutions

28 September 2019 at 00:00

We are pleased to announce the conclusion of the sixth annual Flare-On Challenge. The popularity of this event continues to grow and this year we saw a record number of players as well as finishers. We will break down the numbers later in the post, but right now let’s look at the fun stuff: the prize! Each of the 308 dedicated and amazing players that finished our marathon of reverse engineering this year will receive a medal. These hard-earned awards will be shipping soon. Incidentally, the number of finishers smashed our estimates, so we have had to order more prizes.

We would like to thank the challenge authors individually for their great puzzles and solutions.

  1. Memecat Battlestation: Nick Harbour (@nickaharbour)
  2. Overlong: Eamon Walsh
  3. FlareBear: Mortiz Raabe (@m_r_tz)
  4. DnsChess: Eamon Walsh
  5. 4k demo: Christopher Gardner (@t00manybananas)
  6. Bmphide: Tyler Dean (@spresec)
  7. Wopr: Sandor Nemes (@sandornemes)
  8. Snake: Alex Rich (@AlexRRich)
  9. Reloaderd: Sebastian Vogl
  10. MugatuWare: Blaine Stancill (@MalwareMechanic)
  11. vv_max: Dhanesh Kizhakkinan (@dhanesh_k)
  12. help: Ryan Warns (@NOPAndRoll)

And now for the stats. As of 10:00am ET, participation was at an all-time high, with 5,790 players registered and 3,228 finishing at least one challenge. This year had the most finishers ever with 308 players completing all twelve challenges.

The U.S. reclaimed the top spot of total finishers with 29. Singapore strengthened its already unbelievable position of per-capita top Flare-On finishing country with one Flare-On finisher per every 224,000 persons living in Singapore. Rounding out the top five are the consistent high-finishing countries of Vietnam, Russia, and China.

Β 

All the binaries from this year’s challenge are now posted on the Flare-On website. Here are the solutions written by each challenge author:

  1. SOLUTION #1
  2. SOLUTION #2
  3. SOLUTION #3
  4. SOLUTION #4
  5. SOLUTION #5
  6. SOLUTION #6
  7. SOLUTION #7
  8. SOLUTION #8
  9. SOLUTION #9
  10. SOLUTION #10
  11. SOLUTION #11
  12. SOLUTION #12

Announcing the Sixth Annual Flare-On Challenge

30 July 2019 at 16:15

The FireEye Labs Advanced Reverse Engineering (FLARE) team is thrilled to announce that the popular Flare-On reverse engineering challenge will return for the sixth straight year. The contest will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Aug. 16, 2019. This is a CTF-style challenge for all active and aspiring reverse engineers, malware analysts, and security professionals. The contest runs for six full weeks and ends at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 27, 2019.

This year’s contest will feature a total of 12 challenges covering a variety of architectures from x86 on Windows, .NET, Linux, and Android. Also, for the first time in Flare-On history, the contest will feature a NES ROM challenge. This is one of the only Windows-centric CTF contests out there and we have crafted it to represent the skills and challenges our FLARE team faces.

If you are skilled and dedicated enough to complete the Sixth Flare-On challenge, you will receive a prize and recognition on the Flare-On website for your accomplishment. Prize details will be revealed later, but as always, it will be worthwhile swag to earn the envy of your peers. Previous prizes included belt buckles, a replica police badge, a challenge coin, and a huge pin.

Check the Flare-On website for a live countdown timer, to view the previous year’s winners, and to download past challenges and solutions for practice. For official news and information, we will be using the Twitter hashtag: #flareon6

Announcing the Eighth Annual Flare-On Challenge

12 August 2021 at 15:30

The FLARE team is once again hosting its annual Flare-On challenge, now in its eighth year. Take this opportunity to enjoy some extreme social distancing by solving fun puzzles to test your mettle and learn new tricks on your path to reverse engineering excellence. The contest will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 10, 2021. This is a CTF-style challenge for all active and aspiring reverse engineers, malware analysts, and security professionals. The contest runs for six full weeks and ends at 8:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 22, 2021.

This year’s contest will consist of 10 challenges and feature a variety of formats, including Windows, Linux, and JavaScript. This is one of the only Windows-centric CTF contests out there and we have crafted it to represent the skills and challenges our FLARE team faces.

If you smash your way through all 10 challenges, you will receive a prize and permanent recognition on the Flare-On website to honor your greatness. Prize details will be revealed later, but as always, it will be worthwhile swag to earn the envy of your peers. Prior year’s prizes were belt buckles, a replica police badge, a challenge coin, a medal, a massive pin, and a cyber-styled skeleton key.

Check the Flare-On website for a live countdown timer, to view the previous year’s winners, and to download past challenges and solutions for practice. For official news and information, we will be using the Twitter hashtag: #flareon8.

Announcing the Eighth Annual Flare-On Challenge

12 August 2021 at 15:30

The FLARE team is once again hosting its annual Flare-On challenge, now in its eighth year. Take this opportunity to enjoy some extreme social distancing by solving fun puzzles to test your mettle and learn new tricks on your path to reverse engineering excellence. The contest will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 10, 2021. This is a CTF-style challenge for all active and aspiring reverse engineers, malware analysts, and security professionals. The contest runs for six full weeks and ends at 8:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 22, 2021.

This year’s contest will consist of 10 challenges and feature a variety of formats, including Windows, Linux, and JavaScript. This is one of the only Windows-centric CTF contests out there and we have crafted it to represent the skills and challenges our FLARE team faces.

If you smash your way through all 10 challenges, you will receive a prize and permanent recognition on the Flare-On website to honor your greatness. Prize details will be revealed later, but as always, it will be worthwhile swag to earn the envy of your peers. Prior year’s prizes were belt buckles, a replica police badge, a challenge coin, a medal, a massive pin, and a cyber-styled skeleton key.

Check the Flare-On website for a live countdown timer, to view the previous year’s winners, and to download past challenges and solutions for practice. For official news and information, we will be using the Twitter hashtag: #flareon8.

Flare-On 7 Challenge Solutions

24 October 2020 at 00:00

We are thrilled to announce the conclusion of the seventh annual Flare-On challenge. This year proved to be the most difficult challenge we’ve produced, with the lowest rate of finishers. This year’s winners are truly the elite of the elite! Lucky for them, all 260 winners will receive this cyberpunk metal key.

We would like to thank the challenge authors individually for their great puzzles and solutions:

  1. fidler – Nick Harbour (@nickharbour)
  2. garbage – Jon Erickson
  3. Wednesday – Blaine Stancill (@MalwareMechanic)
  4. report – Moritz Raabe (@m_r_tz)
  5. TKApp – Moritz Raabe (@m_r_tz)
  6. CodeIt – Mike Hunhoff (@mehunhoff)
  7. re_crowd – Chris Gardner, Moritz Raabe, Blaine Stancill
  8. Aardvark – Jacob Thompson
  9. crackinstaller – Paul Tarter (@Hefrpidge)
  10. break – Chris Gardner
  11. Rabbit Hole – Sandor Nemes (@sandornemes)

This year’s Flare-On challenge was the first to feature a live public scoreboard, so players could track their progress and the progress of previous Flare-On challenge champions. Despite this increased data at your fingertips, we are still going to bring you even more stats. As of 11:00am ET, participation was near record setting levels at 5,648 players registered. 3,574 of those players finished at least one challenge.

The U.S. reclaimed the top spot for total finishers with 22. Singapore was once again in second place, but in uncontested first place per capita, with one Flare-On finisher for every 296,000 living persons in Singapore. This is the first year we have included a per capita finishers by country chart, and we did it to highlight just what a remarkable concentration of talent exists in some corners of the world. Consistent top finisher Russia took third place, andΒ a growing player base in Germany and Israel came into full bloom this year, with those countries edging out other frequent top five countries such as China, India and Vietnam.

All the binaries from this year’s challenge are now posted on the Flare-On website. Here are the solutions written by each challenge author:

  1. SOLUTION #1
  2. SOLUTION #2
  3. SOLUTION #3
  4. SOLUTION #4
  5. SOLUTION #5
  6. SOLUTION #6
  7. SOLUTION #7
  8. SOLUTION #8
  9. SOLUTION #9
  10. SOLUTION #10
  11. SOLUTION #11

Announcing the Seventh Annual Flare-On Challenge

4 August 2020 at 15:00

TheΒ Front Line Applied Research & Expertise (FLARE) team is honored to announce that the popular Flare-On challenge will return for a triumphant seventhΒ year. Ongoing global events proved no match against our passion for creating challenging and fun puzzles to test and hone the skills of aspiring and experienced reverse engineers.

The contest will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 11, 2020. This is a CTF-style challenge for all active and aspiring reverse engineers, malware analysts and security professionals. The contest runs for six full weeks and ends at 8:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 23, 2020.

This year’s contest features a total of 11 challenges in a variety of formats, including Windows, Linux, Python, VBA and .NET. This is one of the only Windows-centric CTF contests out there and we have crafted it to closely represent the challenges faced by our FLARE team on a daily basis.

If you are skilled and dedicated enough to complete the seventh Flare-On challenge, you will receive a prize and recognition on the Flare-On website for your accomplishment. Prize details will be revealed later, but as always, it will be worthwhile swag to earn the envy of your peers. In previous years we sent out belt buckles, replica police badges, challenge coins, medals and huge pins.

Check the Flare-On website for a live countdown timer, to view the previous year’s winners, and to download past challenges and solutions for practice. For official news and information, we will be using the Twitter hashtag: #flareon7.

Flare-On 7 Challenge Solutions

24 October 2020 at 00:00

We are thrilled to announce the conclusion of the seventh annual Flare-On challenge. This year proved to be the most difficult challenge we’ve produced, with the lowest rate of finishers. This year’s winners are truly the elite of the elite! Lucky for them, all 260 winners will receive this cyberpunk metal key.

We would like to thank the challenge authors individually for their great puzzles and solutions:

  1. fidler – Nick Harbour (@nickharbour)
  2. garbage – Jon Erickson
  3. Wednesday – Blaine Stancill (@MalwareMechanic)
  4. report – Moritz Raabe (@m_r_tz)
  5. TKApp – Moritz Raabe (@m_r_tz)
  6. CodeIt – Mike Hunhoff (@mehunhoff)
  7. re_crowd – Chris Gardner, Moritz Raabe, Blaine Stancill
  8. Aardvark – Jacob Thompson
  9. crackinstaller – Paul Tarter (@Hefrpidge)
  10. break – Chris Gardner
  11. Rabbit Hole – Sandor Nemes (@sandornemes)

This year’s Flare-On challenge was the first to feature a live public scoreboard, so players could track their progress and the progress of previous Flare-On challenge champions. Despite this increased data at your fingertips, we are still going to bring you even more stats. As of 11:00am ET, participation was near record setting levels at 5,648 players registered. 3,574 of those players finished at least one challenge.

The U.S. reclaimed the top spot for total finishers with 22. Singapore was once again in second place, but in uncontested first place per capita, with one Flare-On finisher for every 296,000 living persons in Singapore. This is the first year we have included a per capita finishers by country chart, and we did it to highlight just what a remarkable concentration of talent exists in some corners of the world. Consistent top finisher Russia took third place, andΒ a growing player base in Germany and Israel came into full bloom this year, with those countries edging out other frequent top five countries such as China, India and Vietnam.

All the binaries from this year’s challenge are now posted on the Flare-On website. Here are the solutions written by each challenge author:

  1. SOLUTION #1
  2. SOLUTION #2
  3. SOLUTION #3
  4. SOLUTION #4
  5. SOLUTION #5
  6. SOLUTION #6
  7. SOLUTION #7
  8. SOLUTION #8
  9. SOLUTION #9
  10. SOLUTION #10
  11. SOLUTION #11

Announcing the Seventh Annual Flare-On Challenge

4 August 2020 at 15:00

TheΒ Front Line Applied Research & Expertise (FLARE) team is honored to announce that the popular Flare-On challenge will return for a triumphant seventhΒ year. Ongoing global events proved no match against our passion for creating challenging and fun puzzles to test and hone the skills of aspiring and experienced reverse engineers.

The contest will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 11, 2020. This is a CTF-style challenge for all active and aspiring reverse engineers, malware analysts and security professionals. The contest runs for six full weeks and ends at 8:00 p.m. ET on Oct. 23, 2020.

This year’s contest features a total of 11 challenges in a variety of formats, including Windows, Linux, Python, VBA and .NET. This is one of the only Windows-centric CTF contests out there and we have crafted it to closely represent the challenges faced by our FLARE team on a daily basis.

If you are skilled and dedicated enough to complete the seventh Flare-On challenge, you will receive a prize and recognition on the Flare-On website for your accomplishment. Prize details will be revealed later, but as always, it will be worthwhile swag to earn the envy of your peers. In previous years we sent out belt buckles, replica police badges, challenge coins, medals and huge pins.

Check the Flare-On website for a live countdown timer, to view the previous year’s winners, and to download past challenges and solutions for practice. For official news and information, we will be using the Twitter hashtag: #flareon7.

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