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Author Topic: Cicada 3301  (Read 2566 times)

Offline woodenheart

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Cicada 3301
« on: November 07, 2015, 12:02:40 AM »




Cicada 3301 is a name given to an enigmatic organization that on three occasions has posted a set of complex puzzles and alternate reality games to recruit "highly intelligent individuals" from the public. The first internet puzzle started on January 4, 2012, and ran for approximately one month. A second round began one year later on January 4, 2013, and a third round is ongoing following confirmation of a fresh clue posted on Twitter on January 4, 2014. The stated intent was to recruit "intelligent individuals" by presenting a series of puzzles which were to be solved, each in order, to find the next. No new puzzles were published on January 4, 2015. The puzzles focused heavily on data security, cryptography, and steganography.

It has been called "the most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age" and is listed as one of the "top 5 eeriest, unsolved mysteries of the internet" by The Washington Post, and much speculation exists as to its purpose. Many have speculated that it is a recruitment tool for the NSA, CIA, MI6, or a cyber mercenary group. Others have claimed it is an alternate reality game, but the fact that no company or individual has taken credit or tried to monetize it, combined with the fact that none who have solved the puzzles have ever come forward, has led most to feel that it is not. Others have claimed it is run by a bank working on cryptocurrency.


The stated purpose of the puzzles each year has been to recruit "highly intelligent individuals," though the ultimate purpose remains unknown. Some have claimed that Cicada 3301 is a secret society with the goal of improving cryptography, privacy and anonymity

The ultimate outcome of all three rounds of Cicada 3301 recruiting is still a mystery. The final known puzzles became both highly complex and individualized as the game unfolded. Anonymous individuals have claimed to have "won," but verification from the organization was never made and the individuals making the claim have not been forthcoming with information.

An email was reportedly sent to some individuals who completed the 2012 puzzle, revealing that those who successfully solved the puzzles were given a personality assessment. Those who passed this stage were reportedly admitted into the organization, although nothing more is known.


The Cicada 3301 clues have spanned many different communication media including internet, telephone, original music, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, physical paper signs, and pages of unpublished cryptic books. In addition to using many varying techniques to encrypt, encode or hide data, these clues also have referenced a wide variety of books, poetry, artwork and music. Each clue has been signed by the same GnuPG private key to confirm authenticity



Offline splat

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Re: Cicada 3301
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 08:26:30 AM »
Very interesting indeed!


Needless to say I left these puzzles for others to solve, I felt this was only fair!

Offline JethroClemson

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Re: Cicada 3301
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 01:33:58 AM »
Did the new part of the puzzle come out? I feel so behind and honestly forgot this was still going on.
"There is no shelter for the weak." - Dr. Francis B. Gröss

Offline woodenheart

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Re: Cicada 3301
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 02:32:06 AM »
Supposedly some guy solved the puzzle. He didn't get past the personality test. Failed. There hasn't been word or more clues since 2012.