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I came across a Reddit post titled “Possible riddle?” containing few .onion links.

Reddit link: here

Out of curiosity went to have a look. the link took me to a rather mysterious page.

how deep can you enter?

How deep can you enter?

First thing –> Source code

chaos is the key

Quite simple but hey, look at that HEX code in the comment.

This translated to: “chaos is the key”

hex to text

The next thing I notices is that the highlighted character changes every time the page is refreshed.

After playing about with it I realized that when the “x” character is highlighted a link is appended to the word “enter”.

The link takes us to another .onion page with an image…

Hidden message

At first I did not see anything out of the ordinary so I decided to save the image and perhaps to see if there is any metadata inside, but once I downloaded the image the “hidden text” was now more apparent.

hidden message in an image kohtpact

Image had a hidden message in it saying “Congrats you passes level 1”.

The instruction also said to to send an email titled “hello world” but the given email address looks like another riddle.

The Proton and Mersenne prime

After examining given email address is appeared to be a two part riddle:

A000668(9)@8,41235641483227

After some help from a Google search I guessed that the domain part must be a “protonmail.com” given the number, but the first part … I could not yet figure out…

After some more investigation I realized that A000668 is a Mersenne prime number so I picked the 9th Mersenne prime (9) and had (hopefully) the solution to the email address riddle:

2305843009213693951@protonmail.com

Mersenne prime  A000668(9)@8,41235641483227

After few hours of sending an email with the “hello world” title I received the reply with another riddle:

binary code message

Binary code:

01101000 01110100 01110100 01110000 01110011 00111010 00101111 00101111 01100010 01101001 01110100 00101110 01101100 01111001 00101111 00110011 01101000 01101000 01010100 01010010 01110111 00110110

That translated to a link: https://bit.ly/3hhTRw6

Needle in a Haystack

The above linked to two files:

needle in a haystack

The text file contained an instructions to another riddle and another .onion link.

get me the needle

The link opened another onion site that was asking for the “Needle”:

if you cannot get me what I need, maybe you must start at Level 0

Te source code of the page also contained another HEX code with a hint that translated to: “n o l a t i n c o u s i n w i l l h e l p y o u h e r e”

hex message in source code

haystack.zip file contained a text file with 1250002 lines of numbers in 8 rows:

haystack.zip

A quick examination revealed that those were prime numbers so the next logical step was to check for irregularities and if in fact all of those numbers were primes.

With this amount of numbers to check the only was to write a quick script.

While not the most efficient (there are better ways to do it) it did a job.

nonPrimeList = []

# counter = 0

def isPrime(n) : 
  
    # Corner cases 
    if (n <= 1) : 
        return False
    if (n <= 3) : 
        return True
  
    # This is checked so that we can skip  
    # middle five numbers in below loop 
    if (n % 2 == 0 or n % 3 == 0) : 
        return False
  
    i = 5
    while(i * i <= n) : 
        if (n % i == 0 or n % (i + 2) == 0) : 
            return False
        i = i + 6
  
    return True
print(...)
print('Starting to look for non-prime numbers... This may take a while...')
with open('haystack.txt') as file:
    for line in file:
        line = line.split()
        for i in line:
            if (isPrime(int(i))):
                # counter += 1
                continue
            else:
                print(i)
                print('--NON-PRIME NUMBER FOUND--')
                nonPrimeList.append(i)
                continue

print('All is DONE')
print(nonPrimeList)
# print(counter)

After a while the script fount the “Needle”, the only non-prime number in the file: 95890463

the needle in the haystack found

GET me the needle

Another riddle was to figure out how to use that needle.

There was no input box of any kind on the website but then after reading the instruction again and the first line on the haystack.txt file it became apparent to focus on the GET. Which reminded me of my Web Dev class and GET/POST requests.

GET method

Following that logic I entered the value of the needle into the URL as a parameter hoping for this to work, and it did:

hidden message in hex computer code

The page revealed another HEX code which translated to another riddle…

uonlyneed3dovetails2findwhere2go

The riddle stated that: “u o n l y n e e d 3 d o v e t a i l s 2 f i n d w h e r e 2 g o”

U only need 3 dovetails 2 find where 2 go

This riddle has taken me a while to figure out…

But it may have taken you no-time if you are a card games player…

In this context 3 dove tails meant a card shuffling technique .

With not many characters to riffle shuffle this could be done manually but why not use another script to do this for me…

mfcJE9adl3v7z/Tuxeo5XqM.eTzKB/Y#nsglRevPnr7atQ

After writing a quick script in python and riffle shuffle 3 times I got another web link address to follow: mega.nz/folder/Yc5RlT7T#JXe3zaunEqvvKtxs9MP7BQ

This took me to the “End of the riddle”, or at least until new riddles appear…

tor riddle solution

This was Fun!