Solving Step 2 of Downtown Murderer without using reverse image search — Hacktoria

Hacktoria’s monthly CTF in May was Downtown Murderer. There were 6 steps and I will focus in Step 2, which consists in geolocate three images, and I will show how I was able to find the locations without using Google Lens and/or Reverse Image Search.

Before we start, it’s important to mention that in Step 1 we could know that the operation is focused in the state of Illinois, which is an important information to help to identify the locations in this step.

First I tried something like:

  • hospital illinois building painting

So, I realized that it could be named “street art”. Luckly, in my first try I found this:

Visiting the URL related to the image, we get the address.

Searching the address in Google Maps, if we put the Street View in front of the H icon, we can see that it’s the location we are looking for.

Answer: Loretto Hospital

Ok, now we need to find a place with a windmill in Illinois. There’s a Wikipedia page with a list of windmills in Illinois, and some of them have a photograph.

The first option with photograph is Mount Emblem Cemetery.

If we search for this place in Google Maps and look the photos, we can see that it’s really the same place of the challenge.

Answer: Mount Emblem Cemetery

Ok, I know that it’s tempting to do a reverse image search with the logo located at the right of the image (and you will find the answer if you do that), but the idea is to be more challenging to find the answer.

Since we are seen that it looks like a stadium, we can search for sports teams in Illinois. We can search for specific sports, and if we search for footbal teams we can see an interesting result:

Visiting the website we can search for team names which begin with N.

So, it seems that we found the team who the stadium belongs. Searching for ‘Nort Park University’ in Google Maps, we find two stadiums. If we take a look in Street View in the stadium in the north, where arrow is pointing to, we can see that it’s the place where we are looking for.

Answer: North Park University (5133 N Albany Ave)

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