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Codebreakers Of The World Unite!
December 1, 2011 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Can You Crack It?
posted by veedubya (55 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nope
posted by nathancaswell at 6:18 AM on December 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


[Quote]:
Players who can crack a code are directed to the GCHQ website and invited to apply for a job.
posted by DreamerFi at 6:21 AM on December 1, 2011


Pork rinds.
posted by swift at 6:23 AM on December 1, 2011


Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:24 AM on December 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


And, as expected, the community "targeted" with this advertisement immediately shreds it to bits
posted by DreamerFi at 6:24 AM on December 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


The first step of the challenge seems to be to use some kind of OCR to convert the code into text.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 6:25 AM on December 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's not Ghostbusters II.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:29 AM on December 1, 2011


Came here for the Ovaltine reference; leaving satisfied.
posted by jquinby at 6:29 AM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The first step of the challenge seems to be to use some kind of OCR to convert the code into text.

Here you go.

eb 04 af c2 bf a3 81 ec 00 01 00 00 31 c9 88 0c
0c fe c1 75 f9 31 c0 ba ef be ad de 02 04 0c 00
d0 c1 ca 08 8a 1c 0c 8a 3c 04 88 1c 04 88 3c 0c
fe c1 75 e8 e9 5c 00 00 00 89 e3 81 c3 04 00 00
00 5c 58 3d 41 41 41 41 75 43 58 3d 42 42 42 42
75 3b 5a 89 d1 89 e6 89 df 29 cf f3 a4 89 de 89
d1 89 df 29 cf 31 c0 31 db 31 d2 fe c0 02 1c 06
8a 14 06 8a 34 1e 88 34 06 88 14 1e 00 f2 30 f6
8a 1c 16 8a 17 30 da 88 17 47 49 75 de 31 db 89
d8 fe c0 cd 80 90 90 e8 9d ff ff ff 41 41 41 41

posted by DreamerFi at 6:30 AM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


something something SKI RESORT something something
posted by item at 6:31 AM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


For the lazy, the first part of the solution is here:
http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/archives/010087.html

(Or skip straight to: uggc://jjj.pnalbhpenpxvg.pb.hx/15o436qr1s9107s3778nnq525r5q0o20.wf)
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:32 AM on December 1, 2011


This is a much more interesting challenge than the one they had five or ten years ago. I finished that one (in so little time that it was honestly embarassing) and emailed them, and they were like "uh, you won! but we don't hire Canadians."
posted by Jairus at 6:35 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


And, as expected, the community "targeted" with this advertisement immediately shreds it to bits

....But doesn't crack the code, I notice.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 AM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not sure why they'd want to, if posts like this are accurate:

What could be more bizarre than a Security Services professional registering a company to do recruitment for the UK Security Services? Even providing Companies House with a real name, address, and dob for good measure.

Then buying a shitty shared hosting package for the web site. Failing to register the domain accurately. And then not using an SSL certificate.

And for good measure... inviting cyber security experts (and I'm not one), in an international online publicity campaign, to come and laugh at you on your birthday.

I'm trying to think of something more insane, but I can't.


Ouch.
posted by mediareport at 6:45 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


And, as expected, the community "targeted" with this advertisement immediately shreds it to bits


That's from almost 2 years ago, and links to this site for the challenge. I'm not sure how you ran across that, but I'm pretty sure they're all talking something other than what the OP linked to.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:48 AM on December 1, 2011


I have all the necessary skills, as would any programmer who has ever written anything in any kind of assembly language ever; but (a) who cares and (b) who in their right mind would want to work for GCHQ and (c) who cares?
posted by flabdablet at 6:49 AM on December 1, 2011


No, I'm not cracking that. I saw Stargate: Universe. There's no way I'm going to get trapped on a spaceship with Begbie.
posted by The River Ivel at 6:57 AM on December 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


The problem is they once you get past parts 1 & 2 it wants you to download and run some unknown Windows software.
posted by alby at 6:58 AM on December 1, 2011


And, as expected, the community "targeted" with this advertisement immediately shreds it to bits

I wouldn't say that. All I saw was someone internet detectiving the person who registered the domain and blasting them for not using HTTPS. Which is fucking irrelevant, because the "contest" requires no registration, consist of 100% static web pages and therefore doesn't require some kind of digital Fort Knox.
posted by ymgve at 6:59 AM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The problem is they once you get past parts 1 & 2 it wants you to download and run some unknown Windows software.

If you're the kind of person these guys are looking for, you are expected to know how to run unknown Windows software safely.

A bigger question is why they couldn't include those missing Cygwin DLLs that the exe wants.
posted by ymgve at 7:05 AM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


item: Props for the reference to that arg thread.
posted by Canageek at 7:19 AM on December 1, 2011


Thanks, but I fail to see what that thread has to do with pirates.
posted by item at 7:22 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Got it. It says, "HE KNOWS."
posted by NoMich at 7:32 AM on December 1, 2011


Cracked it.
Very mediocre recipe for cup-cakes.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:40 AM on December 1, 2011


For the lazy,

Humbug to that! In this glorious golden age of pervasive connectivity, the first question anyone with a problem should ask isn't "how do I solve this", it's "Has anyone else solved this problem already?"
posted by mhoye at 7:43 AM on December 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Solved! After several hours of code-breaking:
"THE GAME."
posted by devnull at 7:50 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


OK, now what the devil does "Setec Astronomy" mean?
posted by BobbyVan at 7:58 AM on December 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


It means "Cootys rat semen".
posted by The Bellman at 8:10 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


mhoye, it looks like the answer to that question is yes.
posted by Uncle Ira at 8:23 AM on December 1, 2011


Better use the Gibson on this one.
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 8:43 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's funny, though - the site is like a month old and the deadline was set for today. Apparently the newly-brought PR due to the Telegraph article made them extend the deadline.
posted by ymgve at 8:50 AM on December 1, 2011


Stupid. The answer is not "42". Waste of time.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:23 AM on December 1, 2011


Wouldn't you want to know "what is it?" before you crack it? I mean, what if you just helped a supervillain poison half of Asia?

So I did it.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:57 AM on December 1, 2011


The starting salary for the GC10 position is £25,446.
The starting salary for the GC9 position is £31,152.


So I can get the same amount doing this job as I can working full-time in Trader Joe's. Seems bit ridiculous if they are looking for people like this:

To help us stay ahead of our adversaries, we need people who aren't afraid to push technical boundaries. People who are ready to explore new ideas and possibilities. People who can think both like a hacker and a defender to analyse the latest techniques. People who are comfortable programming and using new technologies to solve problems, and who are ready to share their knowledge with the rest of the team. So, whether you've got a relevant technical degree or you've developed your own expertise, you could really make a difference. Join our mission.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 10:05 AM on December 1, 2011


I just googled site:canyoucrackit.co.uk and voila! I totally cracked it without cracking it - like mrgrimm, I assume.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:31 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nobody goes into intelligence work for the money.
posted by fearnothing at 10:46 AM on December 1, 2011


"EGRESS"
posted by humboldt32 at 10:50 AM on December 1, 2011


I found this bit interesting:
Fifth question. Who is Judy Baker, why is she not using an SSL certificate, why is she using a shared hosting solution (shared with casinos, miracle cures, and gambling domains) to recruit Cyber Security experts?
Uh, well maybe because she's not good at it, so she needs to hire someone?

But really, I don't see the need to have 'high security' on a site like this.

That said this Judy Baker person seems to have a history of taking on security roles without, apparently, understanding security.
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on December 1, 2011


But really, I don't see the need to have 'high security' on a site like this.

Note the dates and links in that page. Judy Baker's site is not http://www.canyoucrackit.co.uk/
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:19 AM on December 1, 2011


"TAMAN SHUD"

What does that even mean?
posted by vidur at 11:20 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nobody goes into intelligence work for the money.

Not true. Maybe not the majority, but there is a subset of college grads with technical skills who go into it because they have been blackballed from other industries, don't have good enough grades to get that job at mckinsey, or just need a stable job to pay off bills (including loans...MIT will cost you about $25K per year...and that is WITH $35k in need-based aid...thats $100K after just 4 years).
posted by hal_c_on at 11:26 AM on December 1, 2011


Nobody goes into intelligence work for the money.

I just don't think the pay reflects the skills required. I'm not suggesting people are motivated purely by money (I believe strongly that they are not), but if you are paying someone the same amount that you can make doing a routine job that does not require any previous training, I would argue you are not paying them enough.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 11:52 AM on December 1, 2011


wait...is it "Ghostbusters II"?
posted by sexyrobot at 11:56 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just don't think the pay reflects the skills required. I'm not suggesting people are motivated purely by money (I believe strongly that they are not), but if you are paying someone the same amount that you can make doing a routine job that does not require any previous training, I would argue you are not paying them enough.

But your comparison is between two different job markets. A full–time employee at a supermarket (or any routine job in England) would probably top–out at about £15,000, with a much lower average.
posted by Jehan at 12:10 PM on December 1, 2011


That's... numberwang.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:18 PM on December 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


It wasn't biscuits.
posted by fizban at 12:43 PM on December 1, 2011


Yeah, it's a bunch of hex that could mean absolutely anything, depending on what cipher or code you choose.
posted by Decani at 12:52 PM on December 1, 2011


Nobody goes into intelligence work for the money.

Having applied to MI5 a while back I can confirm that this is the case.

What? Hey, I fancied being one of those whistleblowers, you know.
posted by Decani at 12:53 PM on December 1, 2011


"No, I'm not cracking that. I saw Stargate: Universe. There's no way I'm going to get trapped on a spaceship with Begbie."

This is an incredibly meta reference, 10 points to Hufflepuff
posted by NiteMayr at 1:12 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Prediction: an autistic kid will crack it and Alec Baldwin will start trying to kill him.
posted by brundlefly at 1:18 PM on December 1, 2011


if I crack it does taht mean I get to go on strike for better pay?
posted by fistynuts at 2:10 PM on December 1, 2011


you are paying someone the same amount that you can make doing a routine job that does not require any previous training

You simply can't make that kind of money doing those jobs in Britain. And let's face it, you can't get it in most such positions in the US, either. Bear in mind that these are starting salaries, too. And that exchange rates change and costs of living (including pension contributions and health care costs) are different.

But yes, professional jobs do, I suspect, tend to be less well paid in the UK. Which is probably a good thing, if the research suggesting that unequal societies are unhappy societies holds any water.
posted by howfar at 5:01 PM on December 1, 2011


It's not pissing elephant.
posted by deborah at 8:47 PM on December 1, 2011


That's... numberwang.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:18 PM on December 1


I think it's fairly obvious that it's wangernumb. Duh.
posted by guster4lovers at 9:18 PM on December 1, 2011


Not sure if anyone is still interested, but there is an ongoing discussion of the challenge going on in the comments here. It's pretty interesting quite how deep it goes, I could follow most of it but when it came to a vm in javascript I kind of lost track.

Pr0t3ct!on#cyber_security@12*12.2011+

http://volatile-minds.blogspot.com/2011/11/can-you-crack-it-nope-i-tried-though.html?commentPage=2
posted by stx23 at 1:06 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


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