Papapapa [Google Ctf 2023]

writeup by: zenbassi

Challenge Description

Is this image really just white?


Well… probably not. Checking all the pixel values we only get white, so the data must be somewhere else. Checking the metadata we see nothing.


At one point we generated a full white image with the same dimensions as the provided one and the same format. The result? An image much smaller in size! So the data is there. At the suggesionts of mehanix we identified the bytes which specify the image size 1 and changed them to something bigger. Thus we obtained some black specs on the image!

So this is it! The image was just encoded with a smaller dimension, than its real one. After some fiddling, we got the the correct size of 512x528 which clearly shows the flag on the right margin.

papapapa flag


  1. cool and very useful article about the structure of a jpeg file: ↩︎