← View all posts

How to get started with CyberStart HQ base: The Slootmaekers Unlocked

How to get started with CyberStart HQ base: The Slootmaekers Unlocked

Welcome to HQ base levels 1 & 2 - The Slootmaekers!

Find out more about the sneaky Slootmaekers gang and how to solve this case in CyberStart.

If you’ve started HQ base in CyberStart, you’ll likely have heard of the Slootmaekers, as they’re the first gang you’ll encounter in HQ base.

But what kind of scheme are they plotting and how can we stop them?

Let’s find out as we jump in and investigate The Slootmaekers case!

Getting started with the Slootmaekers

The Slootmaekers case is comprised of levels 1 and 2 in HQ base. Between these levels, there are 24 challenges to complete.

The Slootmaekers are a gang of Dutch bicycle thieves who run a number of bike shops in Amsterdam, but are thought to have several hackers amongst them who plan to steal hundreds of bikes from the Netherlands’ national electronic bike initiative!

You don’t need any cyber security knowledge to play this base, so you can play straight away and learn new skills as you go!

Skills you’ll learn

To thwart The Slootmaekers suspicious plans, you’ll learn to use impressive cyber security skills like:

Don’t forget to check out the challenge hints plus the Field Manual full of guides and video demos to help you with areas where you’re struggling.

Check out some Slootmaeker challenges

Want to see a few of the skills you’ll learn in action? Then let’s walk through some of the mind-stretching challenges in The Slootmaekers!

HQ L01 C09 - Bike Fan

The brief in “Bike Fan” tells us that a member of the gang has written a post online where he lists pictures of bikes he likes. Recently, our suspicions were raised as we noticed some of the images are broken and haven’t been fixed.

You need to view the page and see if you can get the image to show. Looking at the page’s source code could help.

A blog post with an image of a person riding a bike

How do we get the broken image to show?

The broken image is missing the file extension. Either open the image in a new window and add the jpg file extension or edit the link to the file in the DOM inspector and add the extension there.

By completing this challenge, you’ll be able to:

  • Inspect the source of a webpage to identify and correct errors.
  • Understand the use of file extensions.

Still stuck? You’ll find a complete walkthrough for this challenge in CyberStart’s Field Manual in chapter 08.

H1 L02 C03 - Secret Pages

The brief in “Secret Pages” says we’ve just had a tip-off that there’s a secret page on the Slootmaekers’ website with information about when the gang plan to attempt the eBike heist. The problem is, it seems to be restricted.

Can you get access to the secret page?

How to access the secret page

Did you see the user= parameter in the URL? Try changing it to something else.

By completing this challenge, you’ll be able to:

Manipulate parts of a website URL to access poorly secured, privileged information

HQ L02 C06 - Broken Click

The brief in “Broken Click” says that there’s now a link on the Slootmaekers login page for an admin login. We want to take a look but the link doesn’t seem to work. Can you figure out how to get to it?

An account login page for the Slootmaekers bike factory

How do we find the link?

Try looking at the source code of the site to see where the link is meant to be pointing to. You can then copy and paste it into the browser window URL field.

These Field Manual sections on browser development tools and manipulating URLs can also help you with this challenge and boost your knowledge of these topics further.

By completing this challenge, you’ll be able to:

Recognise how webpages can show you important information that should, ideally, not be discoverable.

You can try 12 fun challenges in CyberStart by signing up for your free account. Ready to take on The Slootmaekers? Upgrade your free account to solve this case and gain access to all 200+ challenges, 4 bases and the entire Field Manual!

All of these programmes are entirely free, and feature CyberStart!

CyberStart America

What is it?

A fun programme developed to help you discover your talent, advance your skills and win scholarships in cyber security.

Who's it for?

13-18 year old high school students in the US only.

Awesome! How can I find out more?

Cyber FastTrack

What is it?

The fastest and most cost-effective route to a career in cyber security via free training and exclusive scholarship opportunities.

Who's it for?

College students in the US only.

Great! How can I find out more?

CyberStart Canada

What is it?

A free programme teaching cyber security to high school students in Canada through CyberStart's immersive learning platform.

Who's it for?

Students between the ages of 13-18 nationwide.

Nice! How can I find out more?