We are pleased to announce the conclusion of the sixth annual Flare-On Challenge. The popularity of this event continues to grow and this year we saw a record number of players as well as finishers. We will break down the numbers later in the post, but right now let’s look at the fun stuff: the prize! Each of the 308 dedicated and amazing players that finished our marathon of reverse engineering this year will receive a medal. These hard-earned awards will be shipping soon. Incidentally, the number of finishers smashed our estimates, so we have had to order more prizes.
We would like to thank the challenge authors individually for their great puzzles and solutions.
- Memecat Battlestation: Nick Harbour (@nickaharbour)
- Overlong: Eamon Walsh
- FlareBear: Mortiz Raabe (@m_r_tz)
- DnsChess: Eamon Walsh
- 4k demo: Christopher Gardner (@t00manybananas)
- Bmphide: Tyler Dean (@spresec)
- Wopr: Sandor Nemes (@sandornemes)
- Snake: Alex Rich (@AlexRRich)
- Reloaderd: Sebastian Vogl
- MugatuWare: Blaine Stancill (@MalwareMechanic)
- vv_max: Dhanesh Kizhakkinan (@dhanesh_k)
- help: Ryan Warns (@NOPAndRoll)
And now for the stats. As of 10:00am ET, participation was at an all-time high, with 5,790 players registered and 3,228 finishing at least one challenge. This year had the most finishers ever with 308 players completing all twelve challenges.
The U.S. reclaimed the top spot of total finishers with 29. Singapore strengthened its already unbelievable position of per-capita top Flare-On finishing country with one Flare-On finisher per every 224,000 persons living in Singapore. Rounding out the top five are the consistent high-finishing countries of Vietnam, Russia, and China.
All the binaries from this year’s challenge are now posted on the Flare-On website. Here are the solutions written by each challenge author: