We start off the challenge with the standard prompt, the two important bits of information are the name of the target: Olimpiada Balalaykina. We also get the name of someone she would like to meet someday. Pavel Durov, we can assume this is a hint. Then we get the focus of this challenge which is to find the title of her favorite book.
First step to every Recon challenge is google. When we google Olimpiada Balalaykina, up comes a few PasteBin posts. One of those is a post named FLAG. Upon further inspection you will be Rick Rolled. Amused and mildly frustrated, we move to Pavel Durov. After a quick Google search we find he is the “Russian Mark Zuckerberg” and creator of the site VK.com. Which is a Russian social networking site, because this is a Russian CTF the pieces are starting to come together.
We navigate to the site and search for our target Olimpiada Balalaykina. We get her profile for the site and discover our soon to be launch pad for all Recon challenges. After perusing her profile we find a post about a bag with her favorite citation on it. English class isn’t for nothing and we remember citations comes from books. The image however is too small and unreadable in its current format. Seeing a difference in photography from her other photos we hypothesize that the photo is actually a stock photo taken from somewhere else on the internet.
A reverse Google image search reveals a version of the photo with better resolution. Taking a segment of the citation from the image of the bag and googling it reveals it is from the book Pride and Prejudice. And that ladies and gentleman, is our flag.