Bandit Level 12 → Level 13

Bandit Level 12 → Level 13


Greetings, As we step into Level 12 of the Bandit wargame, we're faced with a unique challenge involving data manipulation and repeated compression. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the intricate world of command-line operations.


Before we embark on our journey, make sure you've successfully acquired the password for the previous level: JVNBBFSmZwKKOP0XbFXOoW8chDz5yVRv.

Creating a Workspace: Begin by creating a temporary directory named /tmp/hexdump. Navigate to this new directory using the following commands:

mkdir /tmp/hexdump
cd /tmp/hexdump

This step ensures you have a clean workspace to carry out the tasks.

Preparing the Data: Now, let's grab the data.txt file from the previous level and place it into your temporary directory:

cp /home/bandit12/data.txt .

This sets the stage for our data manipulation journey.

Decoding Hexdump: We'll start by converting the hexdump back to its original form. Execute the following commands to perform this transformation:

xxd -r data.txt > hex
file hex

The xxd -r command reverses the hexdump, reconstructing the original data. The file command is used to inspect the type of data in the hex file.

Compressing and Decompressing: In the next steps, we'll play with compression. These commands help us understand the data and its transformations:

mv hex hex.gz
gunzip hex.gz
file hex

Here, we rename hex to hex.gz, then unzip it using gunzip. The file command confirms the type of data.

Further Compression: Our exploration continues with more compression:

mv hex hex.bz2
bunzip2 hex.bz2
file hex

We rename hex to hex.bz2 and use bunzip2 to decompress it. Once again, the file command provides insight into the data's nature.

Final Steps: The puzzle nears its completion. Execute these commands to perform more decompression given the working file’s data type:

mv hex hex.gz
gunzip hex.gz
file hex
tar -xf hex
file data5.bin
tar -xf data5.bin
file data6.bin
mv data6.bin data6.bin.bz2
bunzip2 data6.bin.bz2
file data6.bin
tar -xf data6.bin
file data8.bin
mv data8.bin data8.bin.gz
cat data8.bin

These commands navigate through decompression, untar, and finally, reveal the contents of data8.bin which is the password for the next level: