Capture The Flag Mystery


Last Night at 3 am officials were called to Main St. in Amherst to investigate a fire in the local coffee shop. The coffee shop, situated between the diner and the clothing boutique, won Best Coffee shop in Western Massachusetts last year. The fire was reported by the owner of the diner next door and was cleaning up after closing when she smelled the smoke. There was no injuries from the fire, however there is significant damage to the structure. The space is owned by the landlord who will be responsible for the damage costs. The coffee shop was recently in the news regarding the use of public sidewalks. The Boutique owner reported the use of the coffee’s shops tables and chairs taking up too much of the public walkway. Currently, foul play is expected. Detectives are investigating the case.

Solve the mystery of the Amherst Fire by solving computer security and forensics challenges.


  1. Debra Duns - Debra is the owner of the diner. Debra was around when the fire started and called town officials? Could she have started the fire?
  2. Cara Campbell - Cara owns the Coffee Shop. Her coffee shop has won awards in the region for best coffee. Could her competitors be trying to prevent her from winning this year?
  3. Barbara Baker - Barbara owns the Boutique. Barbara is frequently upset with Cara because the coffee shop's tables and chairs block the sidewalk. Could she have started the fire in revenge?
  4. Luke Lawrence - Luke owns the buildings in which the diner, coffee shop, and boutique are located. Luke has an insurance contract on his properties. What happens if one of the buildings is damaged?


You are a computer forensics investigator. The police detectives have collected evidence that needs to be analyzed. The evidence will be presented to you in challenges. For each challenge you must find the answer (the flag) and type it in. Good luck!

Get Started!

  1. Register as a new team. You can be your own team or work with a partner!
  2. Solve the challenges.
  3. After you solve all the puzzles, enter solution to the last challenge and find out if you've cracked the case.

How it works

To solve this mystery, you'll need to know about cyber security, including cracking passwords, breaking encryption, deciphering steganographic messages, and more. You can learn more about these topics here:

Follow us