Hack the Box: The Secret of a Queen

2 min readOct 2, 2020


Challenge Lab: Misc

Difficulty: Easy

“Decrypt the code and find the Queen’s secret!”

Zip Password: hackthebox

sha256: d61ae52ce909584390f76f8429fa4693ffe88b4b568e20e9961dece4144305a9

This one gives us a zip file to download. Extract it using the password provided above. After unzipping, you will get the following .png file:

After Googling for awhile, I tried “Queen Secret Cipher” and came across this:

I also found THIS tool where you can manually input the symbols above to retrieve the message:


Obviously we need to work on the format before we turn in the flag:


“To cut a long story short, Mary wanted to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, and began exchanging messages with her co-conspirators, in particular Anthony Babington. This was dubbed the Babington Plot. Their messages were so treacherous that they were enciphered, so that they could not be read if they fell into the wrong hands…Mary’s messages were captured by Elizabeth’s spies and they were cracked by her chief codebreaker. Mary was immediately arrested, put on trial and the deciphered messages were used as evidence of her treachery. She was found guilty and was executed in 1587 … all because her cipher was cracked.” (HERE)

Having just watched all the seasons of Reign early into COVID Quarantine, I was delighted to see a HTB challenge focused on Mary, Queen of Scots.

Happy Hacking! ❤