Routes Mark The Spot [DanteCTF 2023]

writeup by: H0N3YP0T

Description of the challenge

Aha, the little spirit says that the human became more ingenious! What a weird way to transmit something, though.


We are provided with a pcap file, let’s open it with Wireshark. Let’s go trough the different packets and see if we can find something unusual into the info column.

From packet number 66 we start to see some more data in the hexdump of the packets but if we go to the packet number 88, we can see that the protocol used is IPv6 and the hexdump looks like:


What is fascinating is that all the next IPv6 packets have the same hexdump pattern with :X: (replace X by a char). Maybe we can try so take only the IPv6 packets and extract the char between the : and see if we can find something.

As the following picture show, we can see that we found something related to the flag because we have all the required char for the flag format which is DANTE{...}.

The capital D:

wireshark capture

The open bracket {:

wireshark capture

The close bracket }:

wireshark capture

Unfortunately, the packets are not in the right order, so we need to sort in a way to have the flag in the right order. But if we look at every binary flow label, we notice that we can use it to sort the packets.

For example, the first packet with the capital D of DANTE has the flow label 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 and the second packet with the capital A has the flow label 0000 0000 0000 0001 and so on. We can now add a column in Wireshark to sort the packets by flow label and get the right order of the flag.

wireshark capture

The flag is DANTE{l4b3l5_c4n_m34n_m4ny_7h1ngs}.