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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:52 PM

NYT: Code Found on Pigeon Baffles British Cryptographers


They have eavesdropped on the enemy for decades, tracking messages from Hitlerís high command and the Soviet K.G.B. and on to the murky, modern world of satellites and cyberspace. But a lowly and yet mysterious carrier pigeon may have them baffled.

Britainís code-breakers acknowledged Friday that an encrypted handwritten message from World War II, found on the leg of a long-dead carrier pigeon in a household chimney in southern England, has thwarted all their efforts to decode it since it was sent to them last month.

As the birdís story made headlines, pigeon specialists said they believed it may have been flying home from British units in France around the time of the D-Day landing in 1944 when it somehow expired in the chimney at the 17th-century home where it was found in the village of Bletchingley, south of London.

After sustained pressure from pigeon fanciers, Britainís Government Communications Headquarters, its code-breaking and communications interception unit in Gloucestershire, agreed to try to crack the code. But on Friday the secretive organization acknowledged that it had been unable to do so.


More at the link!

PB

12 replies, 1586 views

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Reply NYT: Code Found on Pigeon Baffles British Cryptographers (Original post)
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 OP
mike_c Nov 2012 #1
LineLineNew Reply +
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #6
Science Geek Nov 2012 #7
brewens Nov 2012 #2
longship Nov 2012 #3
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #4
flamingdem Nov 2012 #5
alcibiades_mystery Nov 2012 #8
sakabatou Nov 2012 #9
HopeHoops Nov 2012 #10
msanthrope Nov 2012 #11
jpak Nov 2012 #12

Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:55 PM

1. presumably an old one-time pad with no extant key?

That would be tough to break if it was done properly.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:36 PM

6. +

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:40 PM

7. Exactly

One time pads were used extensively during WWII and messages enciphered with them are almost impossible to crack. It was, and is, an extremely good encryption method.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:58 PM

2. Must be one of those one time pad code messages. They would know not to even

attempt that. You can't crack it if you don't have the other pad.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:37 PM

3. Yup! Probably a one-time pad.

I wonder if they tried a Caesar cypher?
(just kidding)

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:39 PM

4. Windows 8 Serial Keys

 

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 02:50 PM

5. It's a pidgeon poem: I like to poop

poop I like to do
on your head
and on your head
this is my message
if you can't figure it out
I'll show you

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:55 PM

8. Send it to the people who decrypted the Zodiac Killer's coded letter

They'll figure it out in a weekend! (The FBI was stymied).

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:58 PM

9. I thought that there was one last letter which they have had to break

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:15 PM

10. Good fucking grief. That's his little black book for all of his pigeonettes.

 

You have to speak pigeon to interpret it, but he must have had an impressive collection! Either that or he was a pimp.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:29 PM

11. Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine!!!

&feature=related

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:33 PM

12. It's a takeaway order for jellied eel, curry and fish and chips

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