picoGym | WhitePages Write-up

Challenge description

I stopped using YellowPages and moved onto WhitePages… but the page they gave me is all blank!

Category: Forensics


We start this challenge like with most others, using wget to grab the provided file. We seems to have a text file, so my first reaction was to use cat to display the file’s contents.

Unfortunately, all I got were blanks

Strangely, opening the same file in a text editor, Visual Studio Code in my case, and then highlighting the content, showed something interesting.

Depending on your theme, it might be incredibly difficult to see

A bunch of dots in some kind of pattern? My mind jumped straight to Morse code. But first, I decided to throw the whole thing into an online “unicode identifier” to see exactly what I was looking at.

The block of text is composed of two different types of spaces

After this, I spent some time in a Morse code rabbit hole, trying to note down and decode the text. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I decided to step back and reconsider. What else can be represented with 2 characters? New idea: binary! I quickly tried to replace one type of spaces with 0s and the other with 1s, and then threw it all into CyberChef to decode.

And there we have it


A quick and fun challenge this time, and better yet, it was made by one of my favorite content creators, John Hammond, whose YouTube channel has provided uncountable hours of fun and education for myself as well as many others. Definitely one to check out if you are at all interested in Cybersecurity.

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