Recap of Last Lesson: We learned about hidden files within the *nix file structure

Bandit Level 5

Objective: Find the password to the next level

Intel Given:

  • Password file located in the ‘inhere’ directory
  • Password file is the only human-readable file in the directory

How to: This level involves searching for file characteristics. We are looking for a file that is the only human readable file in the ‘inhere’ directory. First, what is human readable? In short, human readable means a human can read it and does not require computer translation. In more complex terms human readable content will be in ASCII or something similar while non-human readable data will be in binary.

First lets see what we’re looking at. I begin with doing a ‘ls –l’ command in the ‘/inhere’ directory and notice a strange naming convention. Each file is named ‘-file’ followed by a number. Looking at the file names and knowing that *nix will interpret anything after a dash as a SWITCH when we type our command we will need to adjust our command a bit. Typically you could just type command <filename>” and your shell would kick out the result, because of that dash we need to tell our shell that we mean the FILE. Keep this in mind as you continue to read.

The command ‘file’ can be used to classify a file is. Again, typing ‘man file’ will provide you a deeper understanding of this command. Rather than type the command and change the digit for each item we can use something called a wildcard often represented by the ‘’, commonly referred to as ‘splat’. When used with commands your shell will match any character to any length. So by typing the command ‘file ./-file’ your shell interprets it as ‘file ./-file00’ ‘file ./-file01’ and so forth.

As you can see after typing the above command your shell gave you a list of results and because of our previous discussion on human readable formats we know that ASCII is human readable. We can clearly see that ./-file07 is where our password is stored.

‘cat ./-file07’ will provide you with the password to the next level.