Sculptor Offers Another Clue in 24-Year-Old Mystery at C.I.A.

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Dr Who Fan
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Message 3260 - Posted: 21 Nov 2014, 23:00:57 UTC
Last modified: 21 Nov 2014, 23:02:03 UTC

Who wants to try and decipher the code?


The artist who created the enigmatic Kryptos, a puzzle-in-a-sculpture that has driven code breakers to distraction since it was installed 24 years ago in a courtyard at C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., has decided that it is time for a new clue.

By 1999, nine years after it went up, Kryptos fans had deciphered three of the sculpture’s four messages — 865 letters punched through elegantly curved copper sheets that make up the most striking part of the work. (In fact, cryptographers at the National Security Agency cracked those messages in 1993, but kept the triumph to themselves.) The fourth and final passage, a mere 97 characters long, has thwarted thousands of followers ever since.

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Loogle
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Message 3264 - Posted: 3 Dec 2014, 4:07:44 UTC - in response to Message 3260.

Cracking Kryptos would be a cool BOINC project.

Grundman
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Message 3265 - Posted: 7 Dec 2014, 6:10:08 UTC - in response to Message 3260.

Seconded...

Conan
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Message 3267 - Posted: 8 Dec 2014, 21:02:58 UTC
Last modified: 8 Dec 2014, 21:03:55 UTC

When NYPVTT MZFPK equals BERLIN CLOCK and the same letter does not decode to the same letter (note the letter T = I and N + the letters V and Z = L,

I can see how it would be very difficult to decode.

Conan

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Message 3268 - Posted: 9 Dec 2014, 5:24:08 UTC

There have been a few people who've suggested that this project attack one-off codes, or those used only by a few people without much documentation on the encoding scheme. Does software exist that would be able to identify the type of cipher used, and then crack it? I have a feeling this is the domain of science fiction and Hollywood taking shortcuts, if all you had to do was put a mysterious code into a computer and get a decrypted message, than a lot of our personal data would be at risk on the Internet.

We can try to decrypt Enigma messages, because we know precisely how the machine works, the only thing we don't have are the settings that made up the decryption keys. And, even that is a moon-shot, because we can't be certain that the cipher text is intact.
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