CyberChef : how to decode your data the easy way



If you haven't heard of CyberChef you may be thinking is a new robot being created to compete on the next series of "My Kitchen Rules" or go head to head with Gordon Ramsay on "Kitchen Nightmares"!

Actually CyberChef or at least the one I'm referring to is actually a really cool tool developed by an analyst at the UK Spy Agency GCHQ back in 2014.

You can read the case study from GCHQ here and how it came to be!

What it does

So as the name of the tool implies, CyberChef allows the user to cook up recipes for data.  The web user interface is really simple to use and intuitive.  Out of the box the tool comes with over 300 recipes.  A recipe refers to the process of converting one data input to another.

Example use cases include:

  • Encode and Decode data - Plain text to Base64 or vice-a-versa
  • Encrypt and Decrypt data - AES, DES, Blowfish
  • Compress and Decompress data - Can be used to reduce file sizes
  • Calculate hashes and checksums: Check the integrity of a file
  • Parse data: For example you can use it to "beautify JSON nested objects"

There are so many uses for CyberChef which is why it has been dubbed as the "Swizz Army Knife" of data manipulation.

Screenshot Plain Text to Hex


CyberChef to Hex

Screenshot Hex to Plain Text

Hex to Plain Text

QR Code generation

QR Code generation

There are so many things you can do with CyberChef and if you haven't used it before I encourage you to go and check it out from the GCHQ github site below.  If you don't want to use it online you can download it and use it locally by pulling the distro from Github and installing to your favourite Linux distro.

Link to GCHQ Github page.

Enjoy and happy recipe making!

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