Neo is the first challenge I solved in SwampCTF.  This challenge was worth 50 points and was definitely one of the easier challenges to solve.

Accessing the Challenge

Clicking on the challenge revealed the following message that guides you towards solving the challenge.

Neo Forensics Challenge

The message includes the following sentence which indicates the challenge probably has something to do with steganography:

A single picture, we're not sure what to do with this but we know this sentry was fond of his abilities to hide things in plain site.

The attachment in the challenge provided the image seen below.

Neo Attachment

Searching for Hidden Data

My first step was to use exiftool to look at metadata in the image; nothing of interest was revealed, so I moved onto using strings to look for text hidden in the image.  I used the -n 7 option to reveal only strings that are at least 7 characters long since I know the flag will consist of at least 7 characters given the flag format established by SwampCTF: flag{n}.

strings -a -n 7 red_pill.jpeg | less

After entering the command, the flag is revealed.

strings results


This challenge was simple and something that I see in most CTFs.  It's a challenge that's not designed to be overly complicated, and is likely geared towards those players that are new to CTFs or new to steganography.