The 17-minute video describes the bizarre Cicada 3301 mystery

Originally published at: The 17-minute video describes the bizarre Cicada 3301 mystery | Boing Boing


Just ring 1-844-424-4737.
Ask for Miki or George.


in my generation, the attitude towards M&G was:

but their recruitment campaign to the next generation was to gamify and seed it where the kids who are into privacy and coding/CS go. it would be cool if it was someone else, but there’s no good reason to assume it wasn’t the NSA, unfortunately. guess I should watch the video, though.


Also, I have a bridge to sell you. Goes right over Baltic Ave.

Legend has it that if you solve all of the riddles in time, you get 30%※ off your next pizza order from Pizza Hut.

※Pre-tax total; not valid in Vermont.


Who would create this?

The nearest parallel I can think of was the Cambridge (England) University Library Treasure Hunt. This existed before the Internet. You started off with one reference to a book. It was something like “Mathesis vol 9 page 123” - that’s not quite it: I have lost the original reference many years ago, sorry. You could give this reference to others but you were asked to keep any other progress to yourself. One reference lead to another, but you had titles in other alphabets with different ways of rendering in the Roman alphabet (try looking for Tchaikovsky under ‘C’), references in pictograms, runes, and so forth. When you got to the end, you got a password which you cold take to one of the tailors in Cambridge, who could then sell you a particular scarf that would show you had finished the quest.

The story was that this had been written by someone who was newly employed at the University Library, but their job could not start for several months, so they were tasked with creating something that would get them familiar with the library index and all its complexities, and also encourage others to do the same.

I don’t know if the scavenger hunt is still there. I suspect the internet will have killed it. But it was something people did in my day in the weeks after finals but before results. I didn’t try it, but people I know did.

Unproveable Hypothesis: someone hired by an intelligence agency may have been tasked with creating some recruitment scavenger hunt while waiting for their project to take off; the recruitment drive was abandoned but the hunt became popular so they kept it going for fun, and maybe for use if the need arose.




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