Jason Turley's Website

picoCTF 2019 - dont-use-client-side

Description: Can you break into this super secure portal? https://jupiter.challenges.picoctf.org/problem/37821/ or link


Points: 100

Source Code

Here’s the source code for the index.html page:

<title>Secure Login Portal</title>                                                                                                                                                                                                         
<body bgcolor=blue>                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
<!-- standard MD5 implementation -->
<script type="text/javascript" src="md5.js"></script>

<script type="text/javascript">
  function verify() {
    checkpass = document.getElementById("pass").value;
    split = 4;
    if (checkpass.substring(0, split) == 'pico') {
      if (checkpass.substring(split*6, split*7) == 'a3c8') {
        if (checkpass.substring(split, split*2) == 'CTF{') {
         if (checkpass.substring(split*4, split*5) == 'ts_p') {
          if (checkpass.substring(split*3, split*4) == 'lien') {
            if (checkpass.substring(split*5, split*6) == 'lz_1') {
              if (checkpass.substring(split*2, split*3) == 'no_c') {
                if (checkpass.substring(split*7, split*8) == '9}') {
                  alert("Password Verified")
    else {
      alert("Incorrect password");
<div style="position:relative; padding:5px;top:50px; left:38%; width:350px; height:140px; background-color:yellow">
<div style="text-align:center">
<p>This is the secure login portal</p>
<p>Enter valid credentials to proceed</p>
<form action="index.html" method="post">
<input type="password" id="pass" size="8" />
<input type="submit" value="verify" onclick="verify(); return false;" />

For this challenge we only need to focus on the code within the “script” tags. The JavaScript calls a function called verify() to check the password we enter against the correct password. There’s a bit of code obfuscation going on with the checkpass.substring() functions, but nothing we can’t handle.

Essentially, the correct password is split at different locations to make reading it a bit trickier. We could manually read the password flag, but it’s much more fun to write a script!


Here’s a janky bash script I wrote that (sort of) prints the flag:


grep "substring" index.html | sed 's/ //g' | sort | cut -d "'" -f 2

I used sed to strip the leading whitespace, and sort to roughly place the flag pieces in the correct order.

And the output:

$ ./get-flag.sh  

Reading the flag is much simpler now.

Flag: picoCTF{no_clients_plz_1_a3c89}