Finding Artifacts 2 [UIUCTF 2023]

writeup by: H0N3YP0T

Challenge Description

New York City is known for its sprawling subway system. However, none of that would have been possible without modern earth-moving equipment. Find where the first ever shovel was used to start digging the subway. Flag format should be in uiuctf{name_of_museum}


The first step of the reflexion I had was the following: I need to deal with the different information the challenge gives me.

  • Where: New York
  • What: First shovel used to build the subway
  • Information I need : The museum where the shovel is stored.

I started by looking for the creation date of the subway in New York. I found out that the first subway was built in 1904 (thank you Wikipedia). Then, I did a Google research with the following sentence: “Museum shovel New York subway 1904”, and I clicked on the first the see the source of it. artifact2_shovel.png


After following the original link of the image, we can scroll down a little bit on the page and we can see it as follows:


By looking under the image we can see the reference of the shovel and the museum where it is stored. Tiffany and Company. Ceremonial shovel used in making the first excavation for the subway on March 24, 1900. 1900. Museum of the City of New York. 54.733. Therefore, we now know how to build our flag.