From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Daemon Challenge 2: How persisent are you?

As described in previously in my blog, this is is the second of three Daemon Challenges.

The first person to complete this challenge will be named the "winner" of this challenge, and will receive a hardback copy of Daemon by Daniel Suarez. Anyone else who completes the challenge successfully, but is not named the "winner" will earn mention here in my blog.

Check back here for the final, most difficult challenge, which will be released on January 20, 2009.

Daemon Challenge 2: How persistent are you?

  1. Run the Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (8.10) Linux distribution somewhere.
    You can:
  2. Install ecryptfs-utils
  3. Download:
    • challenge_2.txt - eCryptfs underlying data
      • encrypted using eCryptfs, a passphrase key, the AES cipher, and 16 key bytes
    • wrapped-passphrase - an eCryptfs wrapped passphrase file
      • the mount passphrase inside is 128-bits of random data, symmetrically encrypted using a wrapping passphrase and the standard eCryptfs salt
      • HINT: the wrapping passphrase consists of only alphanumeric characters and you can crack it using a brute-force attack in less than 48 hours
  4. Your goal is to solve the riddle and follow the instructions in the decoded challenge_2.txt file to submit your answer.

Good luck,


  1. 24 hours have past since the original post, and we still do not have a winner!

    Perhaps it's time for a couple of hints...

    Hint 1: If you don't even know where to begin, see ecryptfs-unwrap-passphrase(1)

    Hint 2: Estimate how many passphrases you can try per second. I told you that this should be crackable within 48 hours...this should give you an upper bound on the length of the passphrase.

    Hint 3: Parallelization is your friend!


  2. Okay, minutes after my last post, Adam Greig submitted the correct answer, and he is the winner of Challenge 2!

    I'm not going to post the solution just yet though, as I know some of you are still crunching passwords...

    Keep at it!

    I promise the next challenge will build upon this one. It is in your best interest to solve this one, in preparation for the final challenge!



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