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In the heart of Versailles, an unexpected discovery sent ripples through the palace. Madame de Maintenon (the IDA Lady), the secret wife of Louis XIV, stumbled upon an unusual letter, containing a hidden plot for a coup. This letter, with its strange symbols, triggered a quest for answers. With unwavering determination, Madame de Maintenon (aka Françoise d’Aubigné or Marquise de Maintenon), set out to uncover its secrets – very much like you, the adventurous participants of this CTF challenge. Each passing day brought new discoveries. Clues emerged, and with every piece found, the suspense deepened. Francoise’s journey reflects your own – a testament to preservance and intellect. As you delve into the story, remember that your goal is to uncover the location of the traitors, just as she sought the truth behind the enigmatic letter.

Once, the fate of France hung in the balance. Now, it is your expertise and ingenuity that will determine the outcome of this "manhunt".

How to participate

  1. Fill in the registration form:
  2. Download the file provided in the registration form above
  3. It is not mandatory, but we strongly suggest using IDA Pro, Home or Free to solve the challenge. Not an IDA user? Download IDA Free.
  4. Solve corectly the challenge and send the flag to


1st Prize: The winner can choose from

  • IDA Pro Standalone Named License, or
  • Full IDA Swag (F5 cap, T-shirt, neck warmer, mug, and a cup coaster).

2nd Prize: F5 Cap and a T-shirt
3rd Prize: One F5 Cap

Special prize for the Attendants of the Code Blue 2023 conference: 50% off a new IDA Pro Standalone Named License & a full IDA Swag!

Rules of the challenge

  • The challenge is free and open to everyone, interested to participate;
  • Participants must have a valid email address for communication. Employees, affiliates, and immediate family members of the organizing entity are not eligible to participate;
  • Purchase of products and/or services is not required to take part in the challenge. Participants could use any tools to solve the challenge but we encourage using IDA;
  • Any form of cheating will not be tolerated;
  • The organizers reserve the right to disqualify participants for violations of these rules;
  • We may use your personal informationm provided in the registration form, for the following purposes:
    • We will use your contact information to send you announcements, news, articles, product information, and promotions;
    • We may use third-party email marketing software, such as MailChimp, to facilitate our communication. Your information may be stored in and processed by such services for email marketing purposes.
  • We will not share your personal information with third parties, other companies, or individuals, except as explicitly mentioned in these Rules;
  • We take data security seriously and implement reasonable measures to protect your personal information. However, no method of data transmission over the internet or electronic storage is entirely secure, and we cannot guarantee absolute security;
  • The organizers reserve the right to cancel, modify, or suspend the Challenge for any reason, including but not limited to unforeseen circumstances;
  • Submitting the flag more than once does not guarantee a prize. Only one submission per player will be counted as successful;
  • To be counted as successful, a submission should include: the flag, an overview of the solution, and used plugins;
  • Submissions made after the deadline will not be considered;
  • The winners will be contacted to provide us with their complete shipping details;
  • We reserve the right not to send the prizes to participants from countries under international sanctions;
  • We may share the names or nicknames of the winners on our website and/or our social networks, except in the cases where the participants have explicitly mentioned that they don’t want their names to be mentioned in our publicity;
  • The winners will be determined by a random draw, except for the special prize for the attendants of the Code Blue 2023 conference. The winner of the special prize will be the first who solved and correctly submitted the flag, following the requirements, mentioned above.
  • By participating in the “Madame De Maintenon’s Cryptographic Pursuit – Unmasking the Traitors,” you agree to these rules.Hex-Rays reserve the right to update or modify these terms as necessary.
  • For any inquiries or issues related to the Challenge, please contact

Important Dates:

  1. CTF start date: 8 November 2023
  2. Submission Deadline for Code Blue 2023 participants: 9 November 2023, 18:00
  3. Submission Deadline for all other participants: 30 November 2023, 23:59 CET
  4. Announcement of the winners: 5 December 2023

Best of luck as you step into this thrilling adventure!