Cicada? 3301? What's it?

in #steem5 years ago

Heyya Steem Fam

Today's let's talk about a puzzle that once arised over our internet...

CICADA- 3301

Cicada 3301 What's it?

Cicada 3301 is a nickname given to an organization that on three occasions has posted a set of puzzles to recruit codebreakers/linguists from the public. The first internet puzzle started on January 4, 2012 and ran for approximately one month. A second round began one year later on January 4, 2013, and a third round following the confirmation of a fresh clue posted on Twitter on January 4, 2014. The stated intent was to recruit "intelligent individuals" by presenting a series of puzzles which were to be solved. No new puzzles were published on January 4, 2015. However, a new clue was posted on Twitter on January 5, 2016. In April 2017 a verified PGP-signed message was found: Beware false paths. Always verify PGP signature from 7A35090F. That message explicitly denies the validity of any unsigned puzzle, as recently as April 2017.

What was the purpose?

The stated purpose of the puzzles each year has been to recruit "highly intelligent individuals", though the ultimate purpose remains unknown. Some have claimed that Cicada 3301 is a secret society with the goal of improving cryptography, privacy and anonymity. Others have claimed that Cicada 3301 is a cult or religion. According to statements of several people, who claimed to have won the 2012 puzzle, 3301 typically uses non-puzzle-based recruiting methods, but created the Cicada puzzles because they were looking for potential members with cryptography and computer security skills.

What happended on the End?

Unidentified individuals have claimed to have completed the process, but verification from the organization was never made and the individuals making the claim have not been forthcoming with information. The first puzzle, of 2012, is claimed to have been solved by Marcus Wanner. According to Marcus Wanner, those who solved the puzzles were asked questions about their support of information freedom, online privacy and freedom, and rejection of censorship. Those who answered satisfactorily at this stage were invited to a private forum, where they were instructed to devise and complete a project intended to further the ideals of the group. He did not finish his work on a method of general decryption, and the website was removed.

Types of clues that were given to people

  • The Cicada 3301 clues have spanned many different communication media including internet, telephone, original music, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, physical paper signs, and pages of unpublished cryptic books written in runes. One book, titled Liber Primus, literally "first book", contains many pages, only some of which have been decrypted. In addition to using many varying techniques to encrypt, encode, or hide data, these clues also have referenced a wide variety of books, poetry, artwork and music. Each clue has been signed by the same GnuPG private key to confirm authenticity.


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