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

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

Welcome to HQ base Levels 5 & 6 – The Yakoottees!

Want to know more about the CyberStart challenges? Let’s look at some of the levels in HQ base!

CyberStart features several bases, each focusing on different cyber security areas. In HQ base, you’ll improve your skills across multiple security disciplines, including Linux, steganography and social engineering!

One of the many assignments you’ll face in HQ base is against the notorious Yakoottees. This criminal gang and their illegal exploits will have you cracking cryptic codes, using trickery in URL parameters and uncovering hidden files.

The Yakoottees levels in HQ base are filled with a variety of hands-on cyber security challenges and skills to try.

Time to take a sneak peek at some of the challenges and how they’ll transform you from technical novice to cyber expert!

Getting started with The Yakoottees challenges

The Yakoottees is comprised of level 5 and 6 in HQ base. Between these levels, there are 24 challenges to complete.

You’ll join a team of cyber agents investigating the suspicious activities of The Yakoottees in Japan. This gang of car mechanics have set up several unlawful schemes and are planning to steal a supercar prototype.

It’s up to you and your team to investigate what digital strategies the gang uses to carry out their criminal plots. Only then can we stop these devious cyber criminals from carrying out their master plan!

Skills you’ll learn

The Yakoottees challenges will help you to learn a valuable range of cyber security skills without the need for a textbook!

A few of the skills you’ll learn to utilise through the practical challenges in the Yakoottees include:

  • SQL and command injection
  • SSH
  • Password cracking
  • Cryptography
  • Brute force attacks

Don’t forget! You’ll have hints plus the Field Manual full of write ups and video demos to help you with challenges or areas where you’re struggling!

Challenge previews

To see a few of the skills you’ll learn in action, let’s walk through some of the fantastic challenges in The Yakoottees!

HQ L05 C08 - Perplexed By Pixels

The brief in ‘Perplexed By Pixels’ tells you that a strange image was intercepted while being digitally shared between The Yakoottees members.

The image had been shared twice to one of the members, and there were colour variations between some of the pixels in each picture.

One of our cyber agents built a comparison tool to analyse the pixels and see if the variation means something.

How do we analyse the pixels?

You’ll need to use the specialised tool provided to analyse the images. Scan the pictures, calculate the colour differences and put them through the converter tool to see what’s hidden within!

This challenge highlights the creative ways data can be hidden to mitigate detection while showing you how to decrypt hidden codes. It’s all in a days work for a cyber agent moving up the ranks in the Cyber Protection Agency!

HQ L05 C11 - T-shirt Trivia

The ‘T-shirt Trivia’ challenge requires you to investigate a suspicious webpage that The Yakoottees uploaded, only for it to be removed ten minutes later. The webpage contained an image of a T-shirt with a QR code on it.

How do we investigate the image?

Have you ever scanned a QR code before? You’ll need to investigate it to see if The Yakoottees are hiding a secret message within it.

Remember to be wary when scanning unknown QR codes in the real world. QR codes could contain anything, including malware!

HQ L06 C02 - Heroka’s DB

The brief of ‘Heroka’s DB’ challenge tells you that a member of The Yakoottees posts photos to a site where the gang also hides their criminal plans. It’s in your hands to find a way to access the hidden information on the site.

How do we find the hidden information?

You’ve been informed that this site is vulnerable to injection. From previous HQ base challenges, you’ll utilise your newfound SQL injection skills to access The Yakoottees' hidden plans!

This challenge shows us one of the ways to access hidden data on a website. Thankfully this time, SQL injection was used to stop the cyber criminals. Unfortunately, it’s often the cyber criminals who use this tactic to steal information!

Want to discover more CyberStart levels in HQ base? Check out our blog on The Choppers levels, or get started with CyberStart right away to access fun cyber security games and learn new skills!

All of the programmes below 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?

www.cyberstartamerica.org

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?

www.cyber-fasttrack.org