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(Yahoo)   Farkers unite-- Let's crack this code and find a murderer. Difficulty: no reward or job offered. On the plus side, great story to tell at the Vegas party   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 435
    More: Unlikely, murder cases, FBI, San Francisco Bay Area, Robert Langdon, actual cause, zodiac  
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15485 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Mar 2011 at 5:14 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-03-30 07:32:30 AM  
I feel like a Fark-Failure for not pointing out that this is probably a draft of an email to send to Strongbad.
 
2011-03-30 07:35:08 AM  

doglover: Did you ever notice how cryptology died with the invention of the computer?


No it didn't.

Sure, we call security algorithms cryptology, but it's not the same as it was in the 1800's when people were bored enough to try and crack those codes by hand.


Some of us are still bored enough.

And why would a murderer actually leave a clue to help the cops in the encrypted message anyway? What fun is that?


That's pretty simple, really: So that they can feel superior. Smarter than the cops.
 
2011-03-30 07:35:51 AM  

Andromeda: FlyingLizardOfDoom: Anyone consider it might just be random letters and numbers?

My exact thought. If I were ever going to leave a note at a crime scene I'd just deliberately put in a fake string to mess with people.


No no no. They just salted it.

Now, guessing that it had something to do with a personal issue you can usually think about things regarding "love" (yes, yes, most "romantic love" is really just misguided lust) but most likely betrayal, while there is still the chance it had something to do with drugs.

Sticking with the betrayal slant, I used the salt key "traitor" and reversed the hash function to discove that the resulting phrase consisted of 8 characters:
THE GAME
 
2011-03-30 07:41:09 AM  
wldncbe

appears at least 5 times

wouldn't c(see) b e?
 
2011-03-30 07:42:13 AM  
Well, 4chan is on the case...so it's only a matter of time.
 
2011-03-30 07:44:08 AM  

Asa Phelps: You know, if the feds have had it for 11 years and gotten nowhere, my money is on a one time pad. or two of them.


Based on Lionfish's transliteration and NkThrasher's letter counts, I'm pretty confident it isn't a one time pad. The letter distribution would be *MUCH* flatter.

/Generate my own OTP's using 10-sided dice.
//Much faster than the "pull Scrabble tiles from a bag" method.
 
2011-03-30 07:46:34 AM  
anyone got any family details?
 
2011-03-30 07:48:17 AM  

Vodka Zombie: "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."


A crumby commercial! Son of a Biatch!
 
2011-03-30 07:48:28 AM  

xelnia: Well, 4chan is on the case...so it's only a matter of time.


They simply have more time on their hands than anyone else.
 
2011-03-30 07:51:08 AM  
I don't know why but when I read this:

(194WLD'SNCBE)(TRFXL)

What jumped out at me was "19(6)4 World's Fair"

WLD'SNCBE actually repeats from earlier int he text:

TRSEWLDNCBE

So I thought that maybe NCBE means some oinstructions like " go back wards 2 characters, and put in OR"

( however that doesn't work for any other case that I can see so it must not mean "OR explicitly even if WLDS means "WORLD"

Seems like in general there are alot of words in here missing vowels.
 
2011-03-30 07:54:50 AM  
A couple of pieces of paper with badly scrawled gibberish on them? Sounds like signs from a teabagger rally to me. It's probably something about socialist muslins trying to take our precious moneys away.
 
2011-03-30 08:00:12 AM  
I've cracked the first line...

"Dumb things I gotta do."

Then something about dumping a body.
 
2011-03-30 08:00:32 AM  
Someone put together some algorithms and I'll run this through my render farm...
 
2011-03-30 08:03:46 AM  

danny_kay: shijjiri:
*slaps forehead*

Of course!



AL==WLD==NCBE==TSMELRSE==RLSE==URGLNE==ASN==WLD==NCBE
 
2011-03-30 08:04:27 AM  
It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.
 
2011-03-30 08:04:45 AM  
"rolls eyes" This is so easy...It says Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990. Duh!
 
2011-03-30 08:09:30 AM  

unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.


It's letter distributions disagree with you on both counts.
 
2011-03-30 08:12:51 AM  

NkThrasher: unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.

It's letter distributions disagree with you on both counts.


We have to assume the author speaks English for obvious reasons. It can still be random and follow some type of pattern and still be gibberish.
 
2011-03-30 08:14:19 AM  

unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.


L -- Adjoin
S -- Start group
X -- Transformer
A -- Identifier
E -- Terminate group

U, R, G, O, W, D, K, U, M, T, C -- Recipients?
 
2011-03-30 08:14:50 AM  
"DRINK MORE OVALTINE"
 
2011-03-30 08:17:01 AM  

unicron702: NkThrasher: unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.

It's letter distributions disagree with you on both counts.

We have to assume the author speaks English for obvious reasons. It can still be random and follow some type of pattern and still be gibberish.


what we know about this guy suggests otherwise. His family says he invented a code when he was a boy and used it to write down info.

Looks like the sample is too small to crack the code though.
 
2011-03-30 08:17:16 AM  
looking at the actual notes, there's a bunch of lines one after another in parentheses

it might be a stretch, but they could be a list

5th line from the end could mean at the start "first person"
4th line from the end could mean at the start "second person"
 
2011-03-30 08:19:14 AM  

aardwolf37: I'm not entirely sure, but I think that may be a windows 8 product key.


yup
 
2011-03-30 08:20:07 AM  

unicron702: NkThrasher: unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.

It's letter distributions disagree with you on both counts.

We have to assume the author speaks English for obvious reasons. It can still be random and follow some type of pattern


No. If it follows some kind of pattern, it's not random.

and still be gibberish.


No argument here, however.

/Feeling pedantic today.
 
2011-03-30 08:21:12 AM  

unicron702: NkThrasher: unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.

It's letter distributions disagree with you on both counts.

We have to assume the author speaks English for obvious reasons. It can still be random and follow some type of pattern and still be gibberish.


The fact that its letter distributions follow the distribution of letters in English so closely indicates that it's not random in letter selection, potentially could be randomized in letter arrangement however. So a one time card (or other pattern) of letter shuffling instructions could explain it, but doing that by hand would be rather labor intensive, and wouldn't explain the parenthesis.
 
2011-03-30 08:22:29 AM  
I remember the story of some amateur who had deciphered one of the Zodiac's letters. The zodiac had used different cyphers for the letter 'e' within the same letters + poor spelling + mistakes in the cyphering which turned the task into a mindfark.

Might be the same thing here.
 
2011-03-30 08:22:38 AM  
ALWLD -- I will ?
 
2011-03-30 08:22:54 AM  
They're directions.

I 71, I 74, and I 75 all converge in Cincinnati.
 
2011-03-30 08:23:47 AM  
re-reading it, i think "person" could crop up right through it
 
2011-03-30 08:23:56 AM  
A child of five could understand this. Somebody fetch a child of five.
 
2011-03-30 08:24:22 AM  
Looking at this, I am seeing patterns that don't normally exist in English, but do exist in other languages. If the page is read from right to left instead of left to right, the SE could be substituted for the arabic A and L, which have a similar distribution in the language (being the arab version of the definite article).

I would have assumed they would have cross checked other languages for similar substitution but I wonder how hard they were actually working to figure it out. I can't imagine one death would put two cryptic pages at the front of the NSA/FBI's priority list.
 
2011-03-30 08:27:06 AM  
Just read it with your best Bill Cosby voice and it will all become clear.
 
2011-03-30 08:27:47 AM  
Maybe the guy needed killing. Has anybody thought of this?

/psst..check if A=B and B=C, etc.
 
2011-03-30 08:28:11 AM  

Sangus: Looking at this, I am seeing patterns that don't normally exist in English, but do exist in other languages. If the page is read from right to left instead of left to right, the SE could be substituted for the arabic A and L, which have a similar distribution in the language (being the arab version of the definite article).

I would have assumed they would have cross checked other languages for similar substitution but I wonder how hard they were actually working to figure it out. I can't imagine one death would put two cryptic pages at the front of the NSA/FBI's priority list.


I agree with you. I think this leans on lending meaning in components. Try reading part of it like old Hebrew/Arabic without any vowels

AL==WLD==NCBE==TSMELRSE==RLSE==URGLNE==ASN==WLD==NCBE

L WLD NCB TSM LRS RLS RGLN SN WLD NCB
 
2011-03-30 08:28:51 AM  
k, there's a problem with the transcrption from
lionfish:

We don't know for sure that it's not case-sensitive.
for example the first line:

ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERtE

should be
ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERTE

followed by
VLSE mTSE-CTSE-wSE-FRTSE
not
VLSE MTSE-CTSE-WSE-FRTSE

It's a bit odd that 'm' is always lower-case, but since 't' is sometimes capitalized, and sometimes not, means that it's worth considering.
OTOH, I'm also going to agree with FlyingLizardOfDoom: : It's probably just random characters, from a lunatic who wants to feel like noone can break his gibberish code; but if you guys still wanna give it a try, good luck.
 
2011-03-30 08:29:02 AM  
Maggie Simpson Did It. Eh, I was close enough.

From comments section: Alejandra said:
Just an observation: many of the people who have commented seem to assume that the notes were written by the killer - they were not. The notes were written by the VICTIM, Ricky McCormick. His family confirmed that McCormick has been writing notes similar to these since he was a young man, but none of them knows what the notes mean or how to decipher them. McCormick, btw, had a modest education (never finished high school), had no background in mathematics or logic, and as far as I know, wasn't intellectually gifted. The code is most likely something very personal. The FBI is hoping that deciphering the notes gives them an idea of McCormick's whereabouts and activities during the days immediately prior to his death. I found these details at the FBI website and thought they might be useful to those of you who are trying to decipher the notes.
 
2011-03-30 08:30:00 AM  
That reads like dictation from Helen Keller.
 
2011-03-30 08:30:20 AM  
FTA: "Despite extensive work by our Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU), as well as help from the American Cryptogram Association..."


I'd like to subscribe to their monthly newsletter just to piss off my mailman.

"1X29B XPLDBT XXX TYBBT, St. Louis, MO? What the?..."
 
2011-03-30 08:30:36 AM  
Looks like when I printed out a copy of my thesis and someone had taken the daisy wheel out of the printer and rotated it so all the letters came out wrong. Yeah, that was a long time ago (1987).
 
2011-03-30 08:30:53 AM  

TheGogmagog: Maggie Simpson Did It. Eh, I was close enough.

From comments section: Alejandra said:
Just an observation: many of the people who have commented seem to assume that the notes were written by the killer - they were not. The notes were written by the VICTIM, Ricky McCormick. His family confirmed that McCormick has been writing notes similar to these since he was a young man, but none of them knows what the notes mean or how to decipher them. McCormick, btw, had a modest education (never finished high school), had no background in mathematics or logic, and as far as I know, wasn't intellectually gifted. The code is most likely something very personal. The FBI is hoping that deciphering the notes gives them an idea of McCormick's whereabouts and activities during the days immediately prior to his death. I found these details at the FBI website and thought they might be useful to those of you who are trying to decipher the notes.


That doesn't mean I don't want to crack Rainman's code!
 
2011-03-30 08:31:24 AM  
I hate to be a wet blanket, but seriously... Farkers really aren't smart enough to do much besides make some funny photoshop pictures.

Slashdot? Sure. They have a chance.

Fark? Yeah, whatever.
 
2011-03-30 08:32:06 AM  
"Here may be found..."...the last words of Joseph of Arimathea:"'He who is valiant and pure of spirit..."'...may find the Holy Grail..."'...in the Castle of Aaargh."'
 
2011-03-30 08:32:33 AM  
oops: I meant
ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERTE

shoulde be:
ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERtE
 
2011-03-30 08:33:01 AM  

historycat: They're directions.

I 71, I 74, and I 75 all converge in Cincinnati.


That's pretty damned convenient and interesting.
 
2011-03-30 08:33:41 AM  

NkThrasher: unicron702: NkThrasher: unicron702: It's random, or it's a one time pad. It's not solvable.

It's letter distributions disagree with you on both counts.

We have to assume the author speaks English for obvious reasons. It can still be random and follow some type of pattern and still be gibberish.

The fact that its letter distributions follow the distribution of letters in English so closely indicates that it's not random in letter selection, potentially could be randomized in letter arrangement however. So a one time card (or other pattern) of letter shuffling instructions could explain it, but doing that by hand would be rather labor intensive, and wouldn't explain the parenthesis.


Has anyone thought of the possibility of a simple monoalphabetic substitution (which would explain the very English-like frequency counts), combined with some form of transposition?

That would be relatively easy to do by hand, it would account for the letter distribution, and if the transposition scheme was goofy enough, explain why it hasn't been decrypted yet.
 
2011-03-30 08:34:37 AM  
...Considering the allegedly limited intellectual prowess of the victim, perhaps they're diphthongs?
 
2011-03-30 08:34:53 AM  
I just tried ALL of those windows keys and NONE of them worked!

This is the WORST torrent site EVER!
 
2011-03-30 08:35:39 AM  

NkThrasher: historycat: They're directions.

I 71, I 74, and I 75 all converge in Cincinnati.

That's pretty damned convenient and interesting.


OK, I got it:

"Baby, if you ever wondered,
Wondered, whatever became of me
I'm living on the air in Cincinnati..."
 
2011-03-30 08:35:39 AM  
99.84.55

* ISP: SBC Internet Services
* Organization: SBC Internet Services
* Hosted in: United States
* 1 Hosts on this IP address
 
2011-03-30 08:36:38 AM  
Also, let's assume it's a simple substitution but the guy couldn't spell for crap and/or had horrible grammar? We'd be up shiat's creek.
 
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