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Spy or spoof? Cicada 3301

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-04-14 12:08 AM
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Spy or spoof? Cicada 3301

ByChenda Ngak CBS News January 3, 2014, 4: 11 PM
Cicada 3301: Code-breaking scavenger hunt has the Internet mystified


It was posted on the paranormal activity thread or something like that. Tekk told CBS News over the phone. A bunch of people said, wow, thats creepy and didnt say anything else.

It was an image of white text against a black background that said:

Hello. 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. 3301.

And with that image, a scavenger hunt began that involved online images, cryptography, number theory, physical clues, phone calls, QR codes and websites on the darknet.

Some of the theories about who is behind the puzzle include the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency or a secret society. Some have speculated that the puzzle is a recruitment program or an alternate reality game, where players collect clues, interact with other players and solve puzzles in real life.

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