The Skull CTF

A mind-bending hardware puzzle in three acts

Dec 15, 2020

Into the Darkness

by Uri Shaked

Ahoy Mateys!

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Hey, You Asked ‘Em!

Last week, The Skull hosted a live AMA session. One could hardly expect a reasonable person to imagine what transpired in that den of ill repute, so we’ll tell you straight:

Blabberin’ on skulls,
an’ horses’ coccyges,
When one brave soul
proved fain to tease:

Hie thee Cap’n,
to the land beyond darkness.
Where gold an’ copper
blend themselves proper.

Well shiver me timbers,
said we.
An’ aye!
An’…whatnow?

As you’ve no doubt guessed, we called our Shaman to interpret. She explained, "The land beyond darkness refers to After Dark, a special PCB process that uses transparent solder mask on top of a black substrate, thereby allowing an intricate PCB design that blends copper, gold, black, and white artwork with sophisticated electronics."

She then added, "To avoid a disastrous outcome, you must create an After Dark Skull. And then you must give it to me. For keepsies."

Taking it Slow

For those of you working to reveal the secret in her eyes—and claw your way into the Hall of Fame with 200 points—we have a hint for you! If you observe the video in its native habitat, you can pause it and then use the , and . keys to move backward or forward one frame at a time. Good luck, and have fun!

What’s next?

We’re now going to put our geothermal stream-soldering process to the test and begin manufacturing your Skulls! Meanwhile, we invite you to stay in touch using our #skullctf discord channel, where you will be fed a steady diet of project updates, challenging questions, and unexpected answers:

ⓗⓣⓣⓟⓢ://ⓓⓘⓢⓒⓞⓡⓓ.ⓖⓖ/ⓂⓦⓀⓍⓌⓜⓈⓔⓉⓒ

Strike While the Iron Is Hot!

Or, if metaphor’s not your thing, then strike while the iron is $5 off! That’s right, Our campaign comes to an end later today, and the price of The Skull will increase (albeit slightly) the moment it does! Don’t miss out on this exclusive crowdfunding discount. Or do. Either way, it’s no skin off our sun-bleached cranium…

Weeeeell almost.


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