I saw Tech Raj publish an interesting challenge 4 days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua7C1v4Yquo

Basically we need to find the hidden message in the video in order to claim the 100$

Saw the comments already have some spoiler like spectogram and LSB, so can confirm that this challenge is about steganography

Steganography is about hiding messages in digital content like image and video, those who play CTF should be familiar


Firstly I download the thumbnail and video from the mega link

Then I open the Video.avi in Sonic Visualizer https://sonicvisualiser.org/download.html

Then add spectogram layer:


Then saw something like hash in the last part:


The total length is 64 character so I guess should be SHA256 hash? But I didn’t find any matches on the internet

If seperate into 32 character (MD5 hash) also didn’t find any matches

After awhile, I think it maybe is a ciphertext and key for AES because both are 256bits which is valid for AES decrypt but it return some gibberish


Then I started to look at the thumbnail.png, running strings on it found an interesting string at bottom:

oh, I can edit hex? Cool.

LSB is stand for Least Significant Bit which is a common technique to hide a message in steganography

But what does the 5 numbers means? Clearly not in ASCII range

At first I thought it was number of bits used in LSB steg, but it was 0-8 so definitely not

Whatever just tried running zsteg (Popular stego tool for PNG image)

zsteg -a thumbnail.png
[?] 51 bytes of extra data after image end (IEND), offset = 0xacab
extradata:0         .. text: "oh, I can edit hex? Cool. \nLSB{156,267,78,1100,321}"
imagedata           .. text: "EEE111)))"

But nothing return 🙁, the image data is not LSB

After that, I stucked for awhile.. tried many stego tools but didn’t find anything.. The numbers must be something important


Then I looked for hints in the Tech Raj discord channel, found that someone was discussing about this challenge

Then eventually, Tech Raj release the first hint:


Then I thought it is SHA256 hash so I brute force it using hashcat but nothing also 🙁

Next I saw in discord, he gave hints in his instragram story:


Then I suddently understand what the LSB string means!

We need to extract each frames in the video and extract the LSB value from the specific frame number!

Extract frame

We can extract all frame from the video using ffmpeg command

# Extract all frame named by frame number
ffmpeg -i Video.avi %d.png

The string given was LSB{156,267,78,1100,321} so we need to extract 156.png first

Then run zsteg 156.png and fingers crossed..

zsteg 156.png
imagedata           .. text: "Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Di}Bg}Af|?g|?g|@h}@h}@h}?g|AfzAfzBgyBgyAdwAdw>at?bu?bw?bw=bv6[o1Vj2Wk2Wi1Vh-Uf-Uf-Uf-Uf-Uf-Uf-Uf/Wh/Tf/Tf/Tf1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh/Tf/Tf/Tf/Tf1Vh1Vh2Uh2Uh0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf2Uh2Vf2Vf2Vd3We3We3We3Yf4Zg5[j5[j8`qGo"
b2,r,lsb,xy         .. text: ["U" repeated 10 times]
b2,r,msb,xy         .. text: ["U" repeated 12 times]
b2,g,lsb,xy         .. file: VISX image file
b2,g,msb,xy         .. file: SoftQuad DESC or font file binary - version 27306
b2,b,lsb,xy         .. file: SoftQuad DESC or font file binary
b2,b,msb,xy         .. file: VISX image file
b4,r,lsb,xy         .. file: AIX core file fulldump
b4,r,msb,xy         .. text: ["D" repeated 8 times]
b4,g,lsb,xy         .. text: "ffffwwfffffffffffUTDDDDDDDDDDDDD33333333\"\"\""
b4,g,msb,xy         .. text: ["U" repeated 8 times]
b4,b,lsb,xy         .. file: 5View capture file
b4,b,msb,xy         .. file: VISX image file
b4,bgr,msb,xy       .. file: PGP Secret Key -

Nothing really interesting.. Even tried with -a but nothing also

After that, I was stucked for awhile again.. Then Tech Raj release a hint again:


Looked at the code can see the usage:

python aesutil.py <encrypt/decrypt> <message/cipher> <key> <keytype> 
Encrypt a message: 
python aesutil.py encrypt "Hello world" "9f735e0df9a1ddc702bf0a1a7b83033f9f7153a00c29de82cedadc9957289b05" "hex"
python aesutil.py encrypt "Hello world" "testpassword" "ascii"
Decrypt a message:
python aesutil.py decrypt "KnJxqDY0D5zWgycuvxZdTKm2520qI2DRCItSMyJtdxA=" "9f735e0df9a1ddc702bf0a1a7b83033f9f7153a00c29de82cedadc9957289b05" "hex"
python aesutil.py decrypt "KnJxqDY0D5zWgycuvxZdTKm2520qI2DRCItSMyJtdxA=" "testpassword" "ascii"

This is the biggest hint!

Remember the hash we got from the spectrogram, is the key for this script! And now we just left finding the ciphertext to decrypt!

Where is the ciphertext? No other place must be the LSB data from the specific frames!

The ciphertext should be in base64 form if not mistaken

After that, I tried many other stego tools from gtihub to extract the data but no luck..

Then Tech Raj release a hint again:


Then I checked the youtube metadata from here

Then from the video metadata got some interesting tags:

    "channelTitle": "Tech Raj",
    "tags": [
        "tech raj",
    "categoryId": "28",
    "liveBroadcastContent": "none",
    "localized": {
        "title": "This video has 100$ hidden inside..",
        "description": "Hurry up! Find the 100$ and you get to keep it :)\nAlso, if you want to have a clearer look at the video in its original quality, without compression (youtube compresses the video file when uploaded), check this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/16a15WZ_ERH4geKG0du2BJbJBM4Or0KAF?usp=sharing\nAlternate Link: https://mega.nz/folder/J4VxiCzR#Zbw78pIMJiiDosDiFVpu-g\n\nAnd, keep checking the pinned comment under this video. It will display the status of this challenge, that is, whether anyone has solved it.\n\nJoin my Discord: https://discord.gg/6TjBzgt\nFollow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/teja.techraj\nWebsite: https://techraj156.com​​​​​\nBlog: https://blog.techraj156.com​\nGitHub: https://github.com/teja156\n\nThanks for watching!\nSUBSCRIBE for more videos"
    "defaultAudioLanguage": "en"

The stegano tag reminds me about this tools in github: https://github.com/cedricbonhomme/Stegano

Then I tried to install and use it to extract LSB from 156.png using command stegano-lsb reveal -i 156.png

But nothing is extracted.. What could possibly go wrong???


Lastly, I realised the number is an index value (count from zero) after I tried to extract the number next to it:

stegano-lsb reveal -i 157.png
# MI4NLO+eBjkp67OyUvBeVPWc+gAwHNJwSkfkfqVaSeyj1

Alternatively, I found can use zsteg to extract also:

zsteg 157.png
imagedata           .. text: "Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Ej~Di}Di}Ch|Bg{Di}Ch|CfyCfyCfyCfyBexBexBex?bu?bu?bu=`s9\\o4Yk3Xj2Wi2Wi2Uh2Uh2Vf0Td/Ud/Ud/Ud/Ud1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh1Vh2Uh2Uh0Sf0Sf0Sf0Sf0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td0Td2Vf2Vf5We5We4Vd4Vd3We3We4Xh-Qa3XjIn"
b1,r,lsb,xy         .. text: "94>eW5V4y425"
b1,rgb,lsb,xy       .. text: "45:MI4NLO+eBjkp67OyUvBeVPWc+gAwHNJwSkfkfqVaSeyj1"

So all numbers we have to plus one to extract, I wrote a python script to extract all value and decrypt the ciphertext:

# Import stegano library
from stegano import lsb
index = [156,267,78,1100,321]
data = ""

for i in index:
	# concatenate all data together
	data += lsb.reveal(f"images_png/{i+1}.png")

from Crypto.Cipher import AES
import base64
key = bytes.fromhex("92786491b4015404961822c6734475154ecd896215b35f3a3baf3f854b550d37")
# First 16 bytes is IV else is ciphertext
IV = base64.b64decode(data)[:16]
ciphertext = base64.b64decode(data)[16:]

cipher = AES.new(key,AES.MODE_CBC,IV)
# Output:
# MI4NLO+eBjkp67OyUvBeVPWc+gAwHNJwSkfkfqVaSeyj1LlKUGffUah27n7iesmQ/AD1DOd2yJ80HLVh09Fglve63Oh7LDXUEUpxJGULxWhx0caVI+BpdJL9lEgDyPkHOVw0k6Q38e7mAoltD2tnZcduEJx1jH+P/q5s8lKhiW9O1feyAfoJZedRv67As6/x26mXVCujVkG5CM0bk83vYQ==
# b'Well done! Now get your 100$ before someone else claims it https://www.techraj156.com/qkazggrkf96qq4y (password:5nTfzhehLagigjx)\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10\x10'

Finally got the link! Yeah!! Solved after 3 days of struggling!

Decrypted Message

Well done! Now get your 100$ before someone else claims it https://www.techraj156.com/qkazggrkf96qq4y (password:5nTfzhehLagigjx)


It was a fun challenge but I think its abit guessy, if without the hints I think maybe I will not able to solve it. Anyway thanks again to Tech Raj for the building the challenge and the gift!