Tag Archives | Cryptography

The Bitcoin “Crisis” Explained and 5 Reasons it Can’t be Killed

BitcoinNear the end of last year, Bitcoin was being gobbled up at an unbelievable $1100 per coin. With a cursory glance, at today’s price ($500), you’d think that the Coca-Cola of cryptos is careening toward disaster. In order to understand why that’s not the case, you might need a quick recap on how we got to this juncture.

Via- Midwest Real

For Bitcoin, early 2014 was a PR nightmare. The crypto was constantly being linked to drugs and money laundering, most infamously in the case of The Silk Road. But, the most damning sequence of events was due to a known security vulnerability and good-old-fashioned ineptness. Enter Hurricane Gox. By February, major (but known to be sketchy) Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox had been having problems for quite awhile. Because of that aforementioned security issue, Mt. Gox halted some of their user’s ability to withdraw Bitcoin while they fixed the hiccup.… Read the rest

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The Internet Mystery That Has The World Baffled

An unknown organisation has crafted a seemingly unbreakable code. Dropping clues in different locations in cyberspace and meat space. A knowledge of the esoteric, math, cryptography, and who knows what else has been used to delve deeper into who knows where.

via The Telegraph

One evening in January last year, Joel Eriksson, a 34-year-old computer analyst from Uppsala in Sweden, was trawling the web, looking for distraction, when he came across a message on an internet forum. The message was in stark white type, against a black background.

“Hello,” it said. “We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through. Good luck.”

The message was signed: “3301”.

A self-confessed IT security “freak” and a skilled cryptographer, Eriksson’s interest was immediately piqued.

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Pigeon’s WW2 Code Is ‘Unbreakable’

Carrier Pigeon (PSF)If only Alan Turing was still alive! The story of the dead pigeon via Reuters:
A World War Two code found strapped to the leg of a dead pigeon stuck in a chimney for the last 70 years may never be broken, a British intelligence agency said on Friday. The bird was found by a man in Surrey, southern England while he was cleaning out a disused fireplace at his home earlier this month. The message, a series of 27 groups of five letters each, was inside a red canister attached to the pigeon's leg bone and has stumped code-breakers from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's main electronic intelligence-gathering agency. "Without access to the relevant codebooks and details of any additional encryption...
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Britain’s GCHQ Recruiting Spies With Online Puzzle

Think you’ve got the chops to be a spy? John Burns reveals a way to apply in the New York Times:

According to traffic on Twitter, Facebook and scores of other Web sites, at least 50 people have solved the puzzle since it was posted unobtrusively last month. To all but practiced cryptographers, it looks baffling: a rectangular display of 160 letters and numbers, grouped in twos in blue against a black background, under the overline, “Can you crack it?” Beneath it, a digital clock ticks down the seconds left until the competition closes.

cyber

The agency that posted the puzzle at www.canyoucrackit.co.uk is one of the oldest, and, espionage experts say, most successful eavesdropping organizations anywhere, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, located in a vast doughnut-shaped building surrounded by huge satellite dishes in parkland near Cheltenham, 120 miles west of London.

Helped by a hand-in-glove relationship with its American counterpart, the National Security Agency, which provides access to data downloaded from a pervasive network of American spy satellites, GCHQ can hack into phone calls, e-mails and computers virtually anywhere in the world.

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The FBI Wants You! … To Crack This Code

CypheredNoteVia the FBI’s official website:

On June 30, 1999, sheriff’s officers in St. Louis, Missouri discovered the body of 41-year-old Ricky McCormick. He had been murdered and dumped in a field. The only clues regarding the homicide were two encrypted notes found in the victim’s pants pockets.

Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association, the meanings of those two coded notes remain a mystery to this day, and Ricky McCormick’s murderer has yet to face justice.

“We are really good at what we do,” said CRRU chief Dan Olson, “but we could use some help with this one.”

In fact, Ricky McCormick’s encrypted notes are one of CRRU’s top unsolved cases. “Breaking the code,” said Olson, “could reveal the victim’s whereabouts before his death and could lead to the solution of a homicide. Not every cipher we get arrives at our door under those circumstances.”

Read More: FBI’s official website

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New Clues In Race To Decode CIA ‘Kryptos’

Source: New York Times. Click Image To Review Clues.

Source: New York Times. Click Image To Review Clues.

Jim Sanborn, the artist who created the famous Kryptos sculpture for the CIA, is fed up with people trying — and failing — to decode its encrypted messages. He decided to speed up the process by giving the New York Times some of the answers:

It is perhaps one of the C.I.A.’s most mischievous secrets.

Kryptos,” the sculpture nestled in a courtyard of the agency’s Virginia headquarters since 1990, is a work of art with a secret code embedded in the letters that are punched into its four panels of curving copper.

“Our work is about discovery — discovering secrets,” said Toni Hiley, director of the C.I.A. Museum. “And this sculpture is full of them, and it still hasn’t given up the last of its secrets.”

Not for lack of trying. For many thousands of would-be code crackers worldwide, “Kryptos” has become an object of obsession.

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Plato’s Secret Musical Code Cracked

Plato-raphaelThe works of Plato, the ancient classical Greek philosopher, appear to contain a hidden musical code, a British academic has claimed, reported in the Telegraph:

Researchers claimed they cracked “The Plato Code”, the long disputed secret messages hidden in some of Ancient World’s most influential and celebrated writings.

Dr Jay Kennedy, an historian and philosopher of science at the University of Manchester, found Plato used a regular pattern of symbols to give his writing a “musical” structure.

In his five year study, Dr Kennedy found Plato, who died around 347BC, used the symbols inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras.

His findings, published in the American classics journal Apeiron, suggested Plato was not only a secret follower of Pythagoras but also shared his belief that the universe’s secrets lay maths and its numbers.

The study, which has created excitement in the academic world, also suggests he anticipated the scientific revolution of Galileo and Sir Issac Newton by about 2,000 years after “discovering its most important idea (that) the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics”.

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