Couple days ago, my brother went missing. It seems like he's ran away from home.
I decided to search his computer, to see if there are any clues to where he might have gone.

All I've found was this image open on his computer:
enter image description here

and this text file on his desktop:

Can you help me find him??

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please don't make puzzles depend on external resources like that png.txt file. They can disappear without warning, and users here have no way to know that the server they're on isn't malicious somehow. (stack.imgur.com is a special case, of course.) If that's really a text file, can't it be included in the question? Or is it (e.g.) very large? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ It being external is part of the puzzle $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ The external site is my personal server and I am maintaining it $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @jwi: On balance of probabilities, it is much more likely that puzzling.stackexchange.com will outlive your personal server and your commitment to maintain this question in say 10 years time. And even if you are completely zealous about providing this puzzle for your whole life, there is no realistic evidence for that, that you can provide. Even then, your external file is not properly licensed (unlike the image or question text which you have made Creative Commons by posting here). If you've hidden something in the HTTP headers, or elsewhere on the same server, then you will need a re-think $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2018 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ I think realistically it would only matter for the next couple years, maybe even less. I will keep this in mind for the next post. $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Sep 4, 2018 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


If we convert the text file to the .png image format, we obtain the following image:

this image is obtained by converting the text file to an image
It appears to be a transparent image, with one red circle in the bottom right.

The next step is to...

Use an online steganography extraction tool that looks at the least significant bytes (such as https://incoherency.co.uk/image-steganography/#unhide) to extract a hidden file. There, we find the following map of Korea.
map of korea

Then, if we overlap this map with the "red circle" image, we obtain:

This new map of Korea, with Busan, South Korea circled in red:
a new map of korea
Based off this image, I'd bet that he's hiding in Busan, South Korea.

  • $\begingroup$ Not quite! On the right track though $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Remember, this is a steganography puzzle! $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Let's see if this works now. $\endgroup$
    – user46002
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ haha there you go! $\endgroup$
    – jwi
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Woohoo! I'm just going to re-work that a bit more since I did it in a rush. Nice puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – user46002
    Sep 4, 2018 at 16:55

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