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(Mirror.co.uk)   If you can crack this code you could be the next James Bond: AWVLI QIQVT QOSQO ELGCV IIQWD LCUQE EOENN WWOAO LTDNU QTGAW TSMDO QTLAO QSDCH PQQIQ DQQTQ OOTUD BNIQH BHHTD UTEET FDUEA UMORE SQEQE MLTME TIREC LICAI QATUN QRALT ENEIN RKG   (mirror.co.uk) divider line 186
    More: Interesting, GCHQ, Umor, Qosqo, Bletchley Park, Alan Turing  
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4917 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Sep 2013 at 2:57 PM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-12 01:37:59 AM

The Voice of Doom:
Do you or someone else know how to decrypt that one on the command line?


I punted on it when I saw the web form, but the Python source is out there.

FWIW, I also haven't figured out how to derive the answer from the 18000-bit file I got from de-stegifying the JPG image. The keyspace of UK media providers and notable crypto people/machines is arguably less work than deriving #5 from first principles! (And after all, I guessed the key that outguess wanted, and it was furthermore only another guess that outguess was the tool with which the jpg had originally been tampered with.)
 
2013-09-12 01:39:44 AM

paleryder69: I DuudeStanky: It doesn't appear in a big blue box for you guys?

I take it you filled in an answer in each of the 5 boxes? Also I am in the States... the rules state you gotta be a UK resident.. maybe they allow Canucks to participate but I bet the site discriminates against Yanks


It could. There is a redirect that happens on that site. They may have some sort of server side code that doesnt display the final 'clue' for US residents.
the URL I got redirected to was http://www.standard.co.uk/advertorials/gchq/ ... is this what you guys have?
 
2013-09-12 01:43:03 AM
The most interesting thing is that all those pages were hosted on UK periodical sites. GCHQ must have its hooks in deeper than the NSA does here in all the pies...
 
2013-09-12 01:47:58 AM

DuudeStanky: is this what you guys have?


no, mine just has the one that leads you back to the first one. canyoufindit,co.uk/secured
 
2013-09-12 01:51:32 AM

paleryder69: DuudeStanky: is this what you guys have?

no, mine just has the one that leads you back to the first one. canyoufindit,co.uk/secured


secured was the final answer for me
 
2013-09-12 02:24:54 AM
BTW, I think I can safely scrap my earlier speculation that the stuff I found embedded into comp3.jpg (the Colossus image) is a bitmap.


$ outguess -k "Turing" -r comp3.jpg challenge4.bin
Reading comp3.jpg....
Extracting usable bits: 48722 bits
Steg retrieve: seed: 1627, len: 2250

$ wc -c challenge4.bin
2250 challenge4.bin

$ gzip challenge4.bin
$ wc -c challenge4.bin.gz
2288 challenge4.bin.gz


Whatever it is, it's pretty darn random. Going to have a beer or a sleep or both.

FWIW, this Fark thread is still ahead of that big discussion site with the goofy alien icon, and even ahead of the orange square with white Y logo in terms of a complete solution, and the green and white slash and dot have yet to green it. So, umm, you all rock. (woo-hoo!)
 
2013-09-12 02:26:03 AM
DuudeStanky
secured was the final answer for me


The funny thing is that I'm not sure if you're supposed to just guess and enter the word or if there's actually some encoded clue included in the standard's page.


paleryder69
it is obvious they embedded some kind of whitespace code in the javascript section of the html 5k lines worth...

Then again, 100s of lines of whitespace are also typical for websites using JSPs because *everything* between JSP tags will end up in the HTML and that includes the whitespace like line-breaks and tabs added to separate the Java from the HTML blocks.
So if you write bad JSPs with lots of Java code and want to keep the source JSP readable, you'll end up with tons of empty lines and strange line breaks in the HTML if you aren't paying special attention to avoiding it (and who really cares how the source of a generated webpage is formatted).
A typical sign for a JSP-backed website (which the standard's site shows) is that there are several empty lines before the first HTML or even the DOCTYPE.
That's where IDEs like Eclipse will insert the import-directives for all the classes used by the embedded Java code.
 
2013-09-12 02:41:01 AM
Twilight Farkle
BTW, I think I can safely scrap my earlier speculation that the stuff I found embedded into comp3.jpg (the Colossus image) is a bitmap.


$ outguess -k "Turing" -r comp3.jpg challenge4.bin
Reading comp3.jpg....
Extracting usable bits: 48722 bits
Steg retrieve: seed: 1627, len: 2250

$ wc -c challenge4.bin
2250 challenge4.bin

$ gzip challenge4.bin
$ wc -c challenge4.bin.gz
2288 challenge4.bin.gz


Whatever it is, it's pretty darn random. Going to have a beer or a sleep or both.


It's just another JPG.
If you do what DuudeStanky said:

Search for hex FF D8 FF E0. Search twice.
The second image starts at the second set of those bytes. Select to the end of the file, copy, paste into a new file and save as comp4jpg


..you get this image:
i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-12 02:43:18 AM
Something something 2 kids at a church in Scotland

What do I win?
 
2013-09-12 03:46:18 AM

The Voice of Doom:
If you do what DuudeStanky said:

Search for hex FF D8 FF E0. Search twice.
The second image starts at the second set of those bytes. Select to the end of the file, copy, paste into a new file and save as comp4jpg

..you get this image:
[i.imgur.com image 451x97]


Ah, I see it! Second JFIF header, and comp3.jpg is really a 52180-byte image of Colossus, followed by a 10288-byte image of the URL. Two .JPG images concatenated.

Disregard my speculation of 63 18 C6 31 as being indicative of stego, because it's in the 10288-byte image, not the 52180-byte image. Outguess can the same 2250 "random" bytes out of the 52180-byte colossus image using the "Turing" key, which makes sense because outguess probably stops looking when it hits the end-of-file marker.

It could be a red herring, but I still have trouble discounting completely the fact that outguess can find something in 52180-byte colossus using the key "Turing," but not using other keys. (It doesn't work for the 10288-byte URL jpg). The whitespace in the final page could also be the weird CMS artefact that you suggest, and I've seen stuff that happen production whenever authors on Macs and PCs are both cutting/pasting things a CMS.

I thought a bit about that, or whether the whitespace was Whitespace (the programming language) or an encoding of space/tab/CR/LF at two bits per character that has something to do with the 18000 bits found in colossus... I started with the 36K gchq.html, and grepped out every line that contains anything other than whitespace. I was left with 11K of ASCII, but compressing the remainder crushed it down to less than a kilobyte. That's far too nonrandom to be something worth XORing with my mysterious 2250 bytes. I don't have a big library of Whitespace code sitting around here to see how well actual Whitespace source code compresses.

Occam's Razor says we're done after the 5 answers have been entered into the form. Maybe the 2250 bytes really were a red herring. Seeing a JPG, thinking "stego", and observing that the obvious key "Turing" did something, where other guesses had failed, ensured that I completely ignored the remaining 10288 bytes of the file that contained the net link, and such misdirection may very well have been the point!
 
2013-09-12 03:57:00 AM
I'm...just going to go back to doing the New York Times crossword now. I like logic puzzles and codes and all, but this stuff goes over my head.

Killer job though everyone. I wonder how many of you would make short work of the MIT Mystery Hunt when it rolls around. Nothing like this, but some of those can get a bit esoteric.
 
2013-09-12 06:25:13 AM

dittybopper: Read the columns downward, starting at the first one and going to the right. The Q's are spaces between the words.

/What do I win?
//I've already done SIGINT, what else you got?


Bravo Zulu, Sir.
 
2013-09-12 07:21:52 AM

Archie Goodwin: dittybopper: Read the columns downward, starting at the first one and going to the right. The Q's are spaces between the words.

/What do I win?
//I've already done SIGINT, what else you got?

Bravo Zulu, Sir.


Thanks, but I just got the first one, with a bit of mental jarring from Theaetetus.

Funny thing is, I didn't break it until I printed out the ciphertext and then got out a notebook and pencil and started manually working on it.  I went through all sorts of shenanigans computer-wise first, thinking it was a monoalphabetic cipher with the Q probably standing in for E or T.

The others in this thread did better work than I.
 
2013-09-12 07:27:11 AM

dittybopper: Funny thing is, I didn't break it until I printed out the ciphertext and then got out a notebook and pencil and started manually working on it.


It seems it's always the way. The human brain can make connections that a computer can't quite seem to grasp.
 
2013-09-12 07:27:37 AM

Kittypie070: paging dittybopper to thread #7928839, will dittybopper please come to the white courtesy phone...

/bop those ditties


Done and done.

Though, technically, the "dits" from when "dittybopper" derives are the "dots" of Morse code.  The "dashes" are referred to as "dahs".  If there is an element that comes after a "dit", you drop the "t" making it a "di", so the letter "S", which would conventionally be written "dot dot dot" should actually read "dididit" (short 'i' sound, btw).  When you pronounce that way, it sounds much more like the actual character in Morse.

So, the canonical example of Morse, SOS, shouldn't be spoken like this:

dot dot dot   dash dash dash   dot dot dot

It should be spoken like this:

dididit dadadah dididit.
 
2013-09-12 07:36:33 AM
 The 5 letter grouping is a giveaway that it's a transposition cypher. The groups must be stacked and read downwards by columns. With 5 columns and no available key, there are 5! (120) possible orders to read them in. Perhaps looking at the original release for a 5 letter word will make it easy.
 After that, it's probably a monoalphabetic substitution cypher. I'll have to print it out and play with it today, but I'm not hopeful.
 
2013-09-12 07:54:18 AM

Theaetetus: Aw, thanks, and yes, I did. I was playing around with arrangements of 3x41, trying square arrangements, etc. Stupid Qs.What got me thinking in that direction was a SF novel by James P. Hogan that had a copy of the Jesus on a Hypercube painting by Dali on the cover. Aliens transmit a serial message that happens to have a length equal to the multiple of two primes. Arrange the stream in a square, print it on circuit boards, and... I won't spoil the rest. But once I saw it wasn't a prime number of characters, I started thinking square.Full credit to you, though.


I actually got a bit frustrated jiggering things around in "notepad" and resorted to pencil and an an actual paper notebook.

Having slept on it, the proper way to have done it would be to write the text in columns instead of rows, and it would have made reading the plaintext easier:

AWVLI QIQVT QOSQO ELGCV IIQWD
LCUQE EOENN WWOAO LTDNU QTGAW
TSMDO QTLAO QSDCH PQQIQ DQQTQ
OOTUD BNIQH BHHTD UTEET FDUEA
UMORE SQEQE MLTME TIREC LICAI
QATUN QRALT ENEIN RKG


Would become this (Q's removed for clarity):

   12345678901
 1 A COMPUTER
 2 WOULD DESER
 3 VE TO BE CA
 4 LLED INTELL
 5 IGENT IF IT
 6  COULD DECE
 7 IVE A HUMAN
 8  INTO BELIE
 9 VING THAT I
10 T WAS HUMAN
11  WWWDOTMETR
12 ODOTCODOTUK
13 SLASHTURING


Just the first line would have told me I was on the right track.  As it was, I had to build it up line by line, but by the time I could read "A COMP" in column 1 and "WOULD " in column 2, I knew I had the solution.  Fun stuff, and I'm going to have to bone up on my transposition ciphers.  I'm actually thinking that some form of double transposition combined with, say, a relatively short strip cipher, would be pretty secure.  Not "NSA will never break it" secure, just "For limited amounts of traffic for a given key, there wouldn't be enough ciphertext available to break it cryptanalytically in any kind of actionable time" secure.
 
2013-09-12 08:00:53 AM

GoSlash27: The 5 letter grouping is a giveaway that it's a transposition cypher. The groups must be stacked and read downwards by columns. With 5 columns and no available key, there are 5! (120) possible orders to read them in. Perhaps looking at the original release for a 5 letter word will make it easy.
 After that, it's probably a monoalphabetic substitution cypher. I'll have to print it out and play with it today, but I'm not hopeful.


Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Ignore the 5 letter grouping.  The grouping has nothing to do with the encryption method, period.  Ciphertext is generally placed into groups like that to make it easier for the people responsible for sending and receiving them to work with them.  Historically, it allowed radio operators to "pause" a brief second to read the next group before sending it, which you have to do when sending random letters and/or numbers instead of intelligible plaintext.  That goes for typing a message into a teletype, sending it via Morse code, or reading it out on voice.
 
2013-09-12 08:49:14 AM
Spy on your friends and family for fun and profit. Join the Ministry of Love. No thanks.
 
2013-09-12 09:06:50 AM

Suede head: Spy on your friends and family for fun and profit. Join the Ministry of Love. No thanks.


Mostly for the fun.  You won't make that much profit.

And yes, it is interesting work, and some of it (ie., monitoring foreign communications) is absolutely vital.

The problem is when it comes to domestic monitoring, of course.
 
2013-09-12 10:38:05 AM

dittybopper: And yes, it is interesting work, and some of it (ie., monitoring foreign communications) is absolutely vital.


During the height of the Cold War, my dad (Russian Linguist) worked in the attics of American embassies surrounding the Soviet Union, with other guys who were really good with radios, and computers..

I have no idea what they were doing.  Nope, couldn't even take a wild guess.  :/
 
2013-09-12 10:40:20 AM

markie_farkie: dittybopper: And yes, it is interesting work, and some of it (ie., monitoring foreign communications) is absolutely vital.

During the height of the Cold War, my dad (Russian Linguist) worked in the attics of American embassies surrounding the Soviet Union, with other guys who were really good with radios, and computers..

I have no idea what they were doing.  Nope, couldn't even take a wild guess.  :/


Probably masturbating.

I mean, in addition to their sigint stuff.
 
2013-09-12 10:51:25 AM

Theaetetus: markie_farkie: dittybopper: And yes, it is interesting work, and some of it (ie., monitoring foreign communications) is absolutely vital.

During the height of the Cold War, my dad (Russian Linguist) worked in the attics of American embassies surrounding the Soviet Union, with other guys who were really good with radios, and computers..

I have no idea what they were doing.  Nope, couldn't even take a wild guess.  :/

Probably masturbating.

I mean, in addition to their sigint stuff.


Or painting smiley faces on the backs of their friend's boots with white-out.

Or taping lewd signs to each other's backs.

Or making elaborate paper spurs.
 
2013-09-12 11:05:14 AM

UseUrHeadFred: [www.bitboost.com image 640x480]


Don't go dragging me into international espionage, here..  This is none of my work..
 
2013-09-12 06:29:38 PM
i52.photobucket.com

/Not a Brit
// No cookie for me
/// slashies
 
2013-09-12 06:34:06 PM
@ Dittybopper,
 Thanks for that!
 
2013-09-12 07:06:11 PM

GoSlash27: /Not a Brit
// No cookie for me
/// slashies


Well done chaps... you are all hired!!!
 
2013-09-12 07:38:37 PM
I've got all of them except for Answer 3. Help!
 
2013-09-12 07:59:16 PM

gotnull: I've got all of them except for Answer 3. Help!


It's exactly what you'd expect it to be, given the context. They just "added" a slight twist to it.
/all the spoilers I'm givin' :/
 
2013-09-12 08:38:37 PM
All of the codes in order, for anyone interested...
i52.photobucket.com

i52.photobucket.com
i52.photobucket.com
i52.photobucket.com
i52.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-12 09:10:57 PM

gchq: GoSlash27: /Not a Brit
// No cookie for me
/// slashies

Well done chaps... you are all hired!!!


I've been there and done that already, and on an island with a much better climate (Oahu).  What else you got?
 
2013-09-12 09:13:27 PM

GoSlash27: @ Dittybopper,
 Thanks for that!


Hey, I've copied enough traffic in Morse that was formatted that way to know why it's done like that.
 
2013-09-12 09:23:08 PM

hp6sa: xenomorpheus: I like all kinds of Astronomy, including Setec

Still the greatest movie about codes, ever.


False.  The best one is "Enigma".
 
2013-09-12 09:27:32 PM

dittybopper: hp6sa: xenomorpheus: I like all kinds of Astronomy, including Setec

Still the greatest movie about codes, ever.

False.  The best one is "Enigma".


What about "Zodiac"?
 
2013-09-12 09:28:24 PM
Or "Knowing"?
 
2013-09-13 01:09:36 AM

dittybopper: Pulling the Q's gives the right frequency distribution for English, but Theaetetus made the mistake of pulling them when checking the factors.  When I saw the factor thing, combined with the distribution, it made me think "TRANSPOSITION!".


I loved that movie!

CQ
HL
OI
OF
SE
EQ
 
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