5
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You are coding on your laptop, and check your inbox. You see an email:

Sent by: [email protected]

Hello, my friend! Look at the encrypted message.
bone to ashes, or apple to banana.
dust to dust, ashes to ashes.
bust and bust, trash after trashing.
I am not your enemy, as you will very soon see.
This is all fill, now there is no bill!

You will probably want to remove the newlines in the file :P


  ---------------------------
|    encrypted-message.txt    |
|          download           |
  ---------------------------

You of course download the txt file and all you see is this:

SGVsbG8sIEkgYW0gV09XT1cgZnJvbSBQdXp6bGluZyBTdG
Fja0V4Y2hhbmdlLCBhbmQgSSBhbSBpbnZpdGluZyB5b3Ug
dG8gdGhlIFB1enpsaW5nIFN0YWNrZXhjaGFuZ2UgYW5kIH
RvIFN0YWNrb3ZlcmZsb3chIFNpZGVub3RlOiBCb3RoIG9m
IHRoZW0gaGF2ZSBhIHZlcnkgbmljZSBjb21tdW5pdHkgOlA=

Question: What does the encrypted message say?

You will 100% need a computer/laptop to solve this (except you are an alien).

Hint 1:

The 'b to a' phrase in the title has a meaning.

Hint 2:

Bytes

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7
  • $\begingroup$ This is my first question, if there are any ways that I can improve, please tell me. $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ First of all, Welcome! rot13 - ogbn vf n wninfpevcg shapgvba gb rapbqr n fgevat va vgf onfr64 sbezng. "Qrpelcg sebz o gb n" znlor zrnaf hfr "ngbo" shapgvba gung vf whfg gur erirefr shapgvba bs ogbn(). Ubjrire V qhaab vs vg vf n genc naq gur erny punyyratr vf va gur pyrne-grkg zrffntr! $\endgroup$ Jul 24, 2023 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ Post an answer, because it is correct! $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13(wninfpevcg vf rireljurer, zhnununu!) $\endgroup$ Jul 24, 2023 at 15:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13(Abj nyfb va zbovyr ncc qrirybczrag! VG JVYY GNXR BIRE!!!!) $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:48

2 Answers 2

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The answer is:

"Hello, I am WOWOW from Puzzling StackExchange, and I am inviting you to the Puzzling Stackexchange and to Stackoverflow! Sidenote: Both of them have a very nice community :P"

This is from

btoa is a function in Javascript that can encode data; we use the function atob to decode the data.

Hints to this include 'btoaoratob' being the name of the emailer, 'b to a' being mentioned in the text, and the 'bytes' hint, as btoa fundamentally uses the binary bytes of the data. As noted by OP, one of the hints in the email itself is from it saying "bones to ashes, or apple to banana".

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6
  • $\begingroup$ Well Done! I didn't think it would be answered so quickly $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ quipqiup.com resolves immediatelly (no need of javascript knowledge) $\endgroup$
    – z100
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ You got the hints correct too, but you missed one :P $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @z100 Oh, nice tool! I might use that in the future :D $\endgroup$ Jul 24, 2023 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ The hint you missed is 'Bone to Ashes, or Apple to Banana' $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:51
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"btoa" is a javascript function to encode a string in its base64 format. So the title "Decrypt from b to a" means use "atob" javascript function that is just the reverse function of btoa().

So the answer is

Hello, I am WOWOW from Puzzling StackExchange, and I am inviting you to the Puzzling Stackexchange and to Stackoverflow! Sidenote: Both of them have a very nice community :P

What is it fun,

is that you use the same encoding that is often - if not always - used to encode an attachment to an email! With a little email headers to support multiple content type, your message could be read direcly by an email client ! See here an example of a raw email attachment https://superuser.com/questions/213563/how-can-i-extract-an-attachment-from-the-email-body-encoded-as-base64

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4
  • $\begingroup$ Even though you posted a comment before, @newQOpenWid posted his/her answer before you, so I am going to have to give him/her the green tick. $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Well done Though! $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ he/she just beat me by 60 seconds :P $\endgroup$ Jul 24, 2023 at 15:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 1 Minute exactly $\endgroup$
    – WOWOW
    Jul 24, 2023 at 15:46

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