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Sculptor Gives a Hint For CIA's Kryptos

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the c'mon-fellas dept.

Encryption 151

omega_cubed writes "The New York Times reports that Jim Sanborn, the sculptor who created the wavy metal pane called Kryptos that sits in front of the CIA in Langley, VA, has gotten tired of waiting for code-breakers to decode the last of the four messages. 'I assumed the code would be cracked in a fairly short time,' [Sanborn] said, adding that the intrusions on his life from people who think they have solved his fourth puzzle are more than he expected. So now, after 20 years, Mr. Sanborn is nudging the process along. He has provided The New York Times with the answers to six letters in the sculpture's final passage. The characters that are the 64th through 69th in the final series on the sculpture read NYPVTT. When deciphered, they read BERLIN."

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151 comments

i just fucked a girl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294700)

in her pussy! more than you loser-ass fucking neckbeards will ever do.

get some sunlight you stupid fuckers!! hahahaha

First time, eh? (1, Informative)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294772)

At least, that's what I'd guess from how excited you sound about it. Congratulations, kiddo! Hope it was good for both of you.

Just a thought though, but I'm not entirely sure Slashdot is the best venue for bragging about it. A good chunk of us are old enough to have found out what sex produces (i.e. children), another chunk of us are (contrary to stereotypes) actually female, and some more of us have no idea what this "fucking" is all about anyway. Perhaps your friends would be more appreciative? Assuming you have any, of course, what with posting as an AC on Slashdot to give the world the news...

Cheers,

Re:First time, eh? (-1, Offtopic)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295426)

another chunk of us are (contrary to stereotypes) actually female

Umm...citation needed?

Or perhaps just a point of clarification: By making this statement, do you claim that, (a) it is hypothetically possible for a number of /. users to be actually female or, (b) that you, yourself are, in fact, female? I could maybe accept the first assertion on the basis of a logical thought experiment, but the second, I'm afraid, will require empirical evidence to be proven as fact.

Also, if you are implying that you do, in fact, have an idea what this "fucking" thing is all about...please post a link. Thx.

Re:First time, eh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295464)

Where could I find an image of "fucking" on the internet? Does that exist somewhere? Maybe there's a video on the YouPorns. Ooops, I mean the YouTubes.

Re:First time, eh? (4, Funny)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295630)

Well, I did the only sensible thing and entered it into WolframAlpha [wolframalpha.com] for analysis. So, at this point, I have determined that "fucking" is a very colloquial, informal intensifier with a Scrabble score of 17 that corresponds to the telephone keypad digits, 382-5464. I give up.

Slashdaughters, and link (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295596)

On the first point, might I suggest looking at the posting histories of Slashdot users such as Macgrrl [slashdot.org] , AriaStar [slashdot.org] , xirusmom [slashdot.org] , and girlintraining [slashdot.org] , among other possibilities [google.com] (though admittedly the username "girlintraining" might suggest someone not born to femininity; I'm honestly not sure).

On the second point, may I direct your attention to this most informative link [wikipedia.org] , as requested. ;)

Cheers,

Re:First time, eh? (2, Insightful)

Niris (1443675) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296044)

Ha, that was a pretty elegant way to say "tits or gtfo."

Re:First time, eh? (-1, Offtopic)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34297008)

That's not what I meant. This is just another case of self-deprecating humor that /. completely fails to understand. You see...the joke is that I'm a nerd who has never had sex (not actually true), and doesn't understand what the word "fucking" means. Sure, it's offtopic, but I don't care. Screw you fuckers for judging me.

Re:First time, eh? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295434)

A good chunk of us are old enough to have found out what sex produces (i.e. children)

Only if you do it wrong.

Re:i just fucked a girl (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295168)

Ironically, this is actually the message encoded in Kryptos.

Re:i just fucked a girl (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295424)

Such an amusing thought. Mod parent funny!

Re:i just fucked a girl (4, Funny)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295432)

No, that's clearly not right, see:

I just fucked a girl in her pussy! more than you loser-ass fuckBERLINckbeards will ever do.

get some sunlight you stupid fuckers!! hahahaha

Go back to cryptanalysis school, n00b.

Re:i just fucked a girl (0, Troll)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296096)

Just a friendly reminder to potential mods out there:

Treatment of the absurd as if it were rational is one of the many devices used by comedic practitioners to create their comedy, particularly that of the self-deprecating variety. Furthermore, regarding a person's sense of humor, Wikipedia has the following to say:

People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. The majority of people are able to experience humour, i.e., to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a sense of humour. The hypothetical person lacking a sense of humour would likely find the behaviour induced by humour to be inexplicable, strange, or even irrational, and would probably consider it trolling (I added that part)

In other words, there's no -1 mod for "I don't get the joke". Thanks for your time.

Re:i just fucked a girl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295276)

i just fucked a girl in her pussy! more than you loser-ass fucking neckbeards will ever do.

She's your mother AND your lover!

Shucks! (4, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294706)

All this time I thought it said "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

Re:Shucks! (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294952)

Why do they call it Ovaltine? The mug is round. The jar is round. They should call it Roundtine. That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

Re:Shucks! (4, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295110)

Why do they call it Ovaltine? The mug is round. The jar is round. They should call it Roundtine.

Blame US Customs [ovaltineusa.com] :

The story of OVALTINE®, or should we say Ovomaltine, begins in 1904. Ovomaltine was originally developed in Switzerland as a recovery drink for skiers returning from a long, active day. (For some reason it was never poured into little kegs and hung on the necks of St. Bernards for roaming the Alps.)

As it grew from a recovery drink into a popular chocolatey beverage, Ovomaltine decided to see the world. When it went through customs, however, a printing error forever changed the name of the chocolatey treat. And the world was introduced to OVALTINE. (Our thanks go out to customs!)

Of course, if this had happened today, it would be called... OBAMATINE

Re:Shucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295442)

or VOMALTINE

which sounds a bit like my visceral reaction to an inane attempt at political humor tacked onto an otherwise informative post.

Re:Shucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295718)

Unless it was a Republican responsible, in which case it'd be Reagan's Happy Fun Time Drink for Kids.

Not to be confused with Reagan's Happy Fun Time Drink for Adults, but remarkably similar to Reagan's Happy Fun Time Drink for Senior Citizens.

Re:Shucks! (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296396)

Well, that sure got changed for the better. Old name sounded too much like "OVUM-altine", which gives weird and creepy connotations. 'Course, maybe I'm parsing it wrong.

Re:Shucks! (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296628)

No, you're not parsing it wrong at all. Ovum = egg. It has (had?) eggs in it. So you had it quite right. But just in case: we ARE referring to chicken eggs.

Re:Shucks! (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296648)

I sense a -5: Redundant in my future! Anyways, I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't picture chicken egges when they hear "ovum", hence my continued horror at the name.

Re:Shucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34297096)

You're not - it's called Ovomaltine (they certainly still use that name here) because it contains egg and malt, at least in the original Swiss version (I understand that the recipe was changed in other countries). Not sure what's weird or creepy about that, though.

Encoding NYT URL (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294742)

Oh, I see some may have to play this "game" with the NYT's URL:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/20/us/code.html?ref=us

Add '&r=2' to the end of the URL.

No! Don't solve the puzzle! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294796)

If you do, the[NO CARRIER]

It's the CIA guys. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294806)

They aren't code crackers. That's the NSA's job. The CIA assassinates people, and uses very expensive satellites to watch weenie-roasts in countries you can't pronounce, which are started with very large heavy metal cans and ended very suddenly with a bang and a cheer. They also made the CIA World Factbook... which in my humble opinion may be the only thing they've done for the internet that was useful.

So lay off on them being given a really complex soduku in their backyard and then being upset because they didn't have time to screw with it.

Re:It's the CIA guys. (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294954)

A couple of questions then:

1. Since it's contrary to the CIA's mission, why was it installed in the first place? (It should have went to NSA instead.)

2. Someone in authority at CIA knew what all the messages were ahead of time, right? Otherwise they risked the possibility of one (or more) of the messages being damaging in some way.

Re:It's the CIA guys. (5, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295064)

The US government used to work hard to keep the NSA out of the public eye. Though the existence of the organization wasn't a total secret, press coverage wasn't welcome at all until after September 11. I remember when I arrived at Defense Language Institute in late 1999 as a fresh Navy recruit, some among my supervisors, old hands in SIGINT and some of whom had served at Ft. Mead itself, were very upset at the recent Baltimore Sun coverage of DLI and the NSA. "The public doesn't need to know any of what we do."

Also, the CIA's spies had to use encryption. Their lives depended on it, and the organization grew out of earlier military units concerned with cryptography and codebreaking.

So when it came to putting up a monument like this, one that would attract the public to figure out its secrets, better to put it outside the CIA's headquarters, because by this point the existence and general purpose of the CIA was known to everyone.

Re:It's the CIA guys. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295762)

The US government used to work hard to keep the NSA out of the public eye. Though the existence of the organization wasn't a total secret, press coverage wasn't welcome at all until after September 11.

The existence of the organization was not only not a total secret, but no secret at all. Who ever wanted to know would have easily learned about the NSA years before because it was very much visible in things like the skipjack encryption of the clipper chip (1993, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip [wikipedia.org] ). It was also named in popular culture e.g. movies (1992 movie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakers_(film) [wikipedia.org] for an example).

Re:It's the CIA guys. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296678)

Not just better, but also more appropriate. The NSA and its purposes have been corrupted; best that it go away entirely.

Re:It's the CIA guys. (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34297496)

Not just better, but also more appropriate. The NSA and its purposes have been corrupted; best that it go away entirely.

And the CIA is a factory which produces rainbows and puppies?

Re:It's the CIA guys. (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295746)

Does it matter? There are 16 government intelligence agencies. Supposedly the CIA is the only independent agency. NSA and NRO report to the DOD, plus all the other agencies report to various departments (mainly DOD), but there are representatives from DOE, DHS, DOJ, etc...
I'm sure that you can try to pigeonhole various agencies and say that their function is x, but even though all those agencies fall under the same umbrella as part of the US intelligence community, the sharing of information between agencies is, well, limited. As with typical government agencies, the more you know and the more can you hold over someone else's head, the more "power" you have.

Poor Cryptographer? (3, Insightful)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294822)

"Why hasn't anyone solved my one-time pad encrypted puzzle?"

Re:Poor Cryptographer? (4, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294964)

They have: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VENONA_project [wikipedia.org]

The Soviet planners were so impressed with one-time pads that decided that they needed to be copied:

Somebody who was working for the manufacturers of Soviet secret-communication materials had reused pages of some of the "one-time" pads in other "one-time" pads, which were then used for other secret messages. This defeated the purpose of the one-time pad, which provides ideal security when each page is used exactly once and then disposed of.

The article continues:

It is unclear as to why this fatal mistake was made, or by whom.

I would guess that he, who made the mistake, is pushing up the daisies in Siberia now . . .

Re:Poor Cryptographer? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295018)

I heard this mentioned on a Discovery Channel special once. It blamed the typists, whom it said were tasked with the random number generation.

Re:Poor Cryptographer? (2, Interesting)

alchemy101 (961551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296042)

Poor sculptor actually, since Sanborn chopped off a letter in one of the codes to make it more aesthetically pleasing but as a result led everyone to an incorrect answer [elonka.com] for one of the puzzles

I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294852)

"Ich bin ein Berliner"

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (0, Troll)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294916)

you are a Jelly-Filled Doughnut?

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294960)

you are a Jelly-Filled Doughnut?

WRONG [wikipedia.org]

It is a common misconception that Kennedy made a risible error by saying "Ich bin ein Berliner." According to this idea, Kennedy referred to himself not as a "citizen of Berlin", but as a "jam doughnut", which is known in parts of Germany as a "Berliner".[3]

Kennedy should, supposedly, have said "Ich bin Berliner" to mean "I am a person from Berlin." By adding the indefinite article ein his statement, supposedly, implied he was a non-human Berliner, thus "I am a jam doughnut".[citation needed]

The indefinite article ein is omitted when speaking of an individual's profession or residence but is necessary when speaking in a figurative sense as Kennedy did. Since the president was not literally from Berlin but only declaring his solidarity with its citizens, "Ich bin Berliner" would not have been correct.

Depends whom you ask (2, Informative)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295020)

FWIW, my high school German teacher was a teenager in Germany at the time, and her grandmother scolded her severely for busting a gut laughing at Kennedy when he uttered this line. And just to be clear, she comes from an old Prussian family -- this was not a case of an American military family having one over on their president. While folks in Berlin might not have made much of the turn of phrase, folks elsewhere in Germany, at least some of them, had a grand old time.

Cheers,

Re:Depends whom you ask (1)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34297440)

It's true that "Ich bin ein Berliner" is ambiguous. It can refer to someone who is from the city of Berlin, or who feels he is a jelly filled doghnut. As with all ambiguous sentences, you usually assume the meaning that seems correct given the context. Thus, Kennedy's use of the sentence was completely correct. (It's quite possible that your then-teenage German teacher believed it was funny, kids that are trying to misunderstand someone to creaty funny situations are not exactly unusual)

I'm a German. Kenedy's sentence is still pretty famous here, but until now I've never ever heared about anybody who tried to misinterpret that sentence.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (5, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295022)

Germans are incredibly tolerant about their language; if you try to speak it they will lend helping hands. I guess they figure that if you have the courage to try to learn it, and speak it, you don't need to prove any valour beyond that. (German is not my first language).

I have seen the film clip where Kennedy says, "Ich bin ein Berliner!", but all of the crowd knew what he wanted to say, and so it was no problem.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295572)

Germans are incredibly tolerant about their language; if you try to speak it they will inform you that they actually speak fluent English, and that it would be easiest for the both of you to continue the conversation in your native tounge.

FTFY

I've always wanted to become fluent in German, but decades of compulsory English education at all levels of German secondary school mean that most Germans already speak my language. It's kind of hard to motivate myself to learn their language when I know it would be a mostly academic exercise. :-(

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (2, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295612)

If you walk up to someone and start the conversation in German, it can continue in German. If you need to conduct business and aren't comfortable concluding it in a language you struggle with, you can always switch to English and be successful.

I was able to use quite a bit more German than I thought I would when I visited Austria and Germany for a few weeks in 2008; it had been almost a decade since I had studied German in college.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34297524)

If you at least learn to read German you will be able to read a lot of things from literature/music and the sciences. Before the 2nd world war German was sort of the language of mathematics and certain branches of philosophy. I guess it would be interesting for someone into art and science to be able to read some of the greater/greatest achievements in original form. Sort of like learning certain words in English to be able to read scientific texts written in English.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (1, Insightful)

udoschuermann (158146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296372)

Actually, "ich bin ein Berliner" is not wrong. The creative re-interpretation of JFK's words rests solely on the fact that "Berliner" is also the name for those jelly-filled doughnuts. If he had given the speech in München (Munich) and had said, "Ich bin ein Münchner", nobody would have thought to make anything more of it.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (2, Interesting)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296534)

Exactly. I am German and there is a game we play with little kids called "Teekesselchen". This is a game where the goal is to find the meaning or a word which is pronounced the same but means different things. The opponent needs to figure out the word by me describing the item without using the actual word.
One Example is Boxer which can be a human fighter or a dog.

Same goes for Berliner, most Germans with a basic understanding of German/English know that JFK was not talking about a jelly doughnut.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (2, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34297284)

This is a game where the goal is to find the meaning or a word which is pronounced the same but means different things.

In English, this is called a homonym: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym [wikipedia.org] .

As in, "Can you see the sea?"

English is my first language, but I am also fluent in German. One time a colleague asked me to translate an email that he had inadvertently been put on CC, in German. The whole department laughing their asses off over the word: Fehlerbehebungsmaßnahmen.

I told them that the meaning for me was crystal clear, but you would need a whole sentence in English to describe what it meant.

My girlfriend, who is a native German speaker, claims that Unterwasserseebootbeleuchtungsautomatik is a valid word, which is used by a Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän.

So we should cut JFK some slack about getting his articles wrong, or using one, where none should be used. At least he didn't try to wrestle with these words.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (2, Funny)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#34297464)

My girlfriend, who is a native German speaker,
claims that Unterwasserseebootbeleuchtungsautomatik is a valid word, which is used by a Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän.

If you tried to fomalize German language rules, you would find the rule
[Noun] := [Noun] + [filler]? + [Noun]

Thus, you can combine the two words into Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsunterwasserseebootsbeleuchtungsautomatik, and still have a valid German word.

Re:I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34297612)

Unterwasserseebootbeleuchtungsautomatik is a valid word, which is used by a Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän.

Thus, you can combine the two words into Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsunterwasserseebootsbeleuchtungsautomatik, and still have a valid German word.

Ah, but, Sir, you added an "s", which indicates that you understand the German Genative . . . as opposed to Promis who pop up on television in Germany . . . I'm talking about you, Verona!

Intrusions? (2, Interesting)

Lewah (1785074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294870)

Not to say that the geeks don't geek, but c'mon... what intrusions? My guess: he just wanted someone to care again.

Re:Intrusions? (4, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294926)

RTFA. Somebody showed up on his doorstep with a binder full of claptrap, and they still weren't right.

Re:Intrusions? (5, Funny)

pthisis (27352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295094)

It was part of their plan to decode it. They know that social engineering is often a much more effective way of getting at encrypted data than an attack on the algorithm; by pestering the author with a bunch of claptrap, they've already gotten him to reveal part of the plaintext.

Next phase: Stand outside of his apartment with a stereo held overhead Say Anything-style, blasting Achy Breaky Heart. The remainder of the message will fall in days.

Why is this news? JFK said it a long time ago ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294892)

When deciphered, they read BERLIN.

"Ich bin ein Berliner!"

In Soviet East Berlin, Erich Honecker eats your jelly doughnut!"

And James Jesus Angelton provided the orchids from his private garden. I am still kicking myself for not attending a book signing session by Markus Wolf, that took place near where I live . . . hell, then I could claim, "I saw the face, of the man without a face!"

A real cryptographer would have written something on the side of his notes saying, "Oh, I have found a really simple solution for this cipher, but I don't have enough room to prove it here. Get back to ya' later on that!"

Meanwhile, poor Günter Schabowski, couldn't decipher the notes from the East German Politburo, and inadvertently opened up the Berlin Wall.

Those politicians and spies say the darnedest things . . .

Re:Why is this news? JFK said it a long time ago . (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295598)

Well, if nothing else, thank you for the tour through Cold War spymasters. Schabowski deserves a dozen medals for what he did for humanity, even if it was inadvertent.

They sentenced me to 20 years of cryptanalysis. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294912)

I was going to do a funny parody of Leonard Cohen's serious parody of our Cold War adversaries (unfortunately, "Berlin" gets you only to the mid-30s character-wise), but the first line of the song and the timing of the NYT article jumped right out at me.

There's no crypto behind this guess. Just a leap of intuition from a reference to Webster to King Tut. And the fact that Cohen's First We Take Manhattan was published in 1988, which would have been current around the time the puzzle was being designed for construction in 1990. And the first line of second verse would be a pretty neat thing to slip into a puzzle like this.

123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123BERLIN012345678
theysentencedmeto20yearsofboredomfirstwetakemanhattanthenwetakeBERLIN

There's just a few dozen big problems with this sort of guessing. First, second, third, and fourth, I'm cheating. I used the first line and the last line of the first verse in order to make it fit. I'm really cheating, since you don't have digits in the solution set, and would have to encode "20" as "XX" in Roman numerals. And knowing all this, I still felt a flash of "WOW" as I measured the characters. Funny thing how the brain works.

That's the fun part about conspiracy theories - you can be completely wrong (the words don't line up!), you can be completely wrong (the words line up just fine if you pick the right lines, except you can't put digits in the message...), you can be completely wrong (fine, replace "20" with roman numerals!), and eventually (I'm sure if I'd been off by one character, I'd have said "start at zero", but I didn't have to for purposes of this post), you'll find a solution that fits.

What the thinker thinks, the prover proves.

But it was a fun diversion for a Saturday evening. Given that a material chunk of the plaintext has been disclosed, and that we can now assume the plaintext to be in English, I'm looking forward to the real solution in a few months.

There are no shortcuts, and good luck to those in the business who actually know what they're doing: starting with the math, and let the solution reveal itself.

Re:They sentenced me to 20 years of cryptanalysis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295136)

I was just thinking about this lyric as a solution too, great minds eh ;-)

Re:They sentenced me to 20 years of cryptanalysis. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295180)

I solved the puzzle, but my submission was rejected by Slashdot's lameness filter ("Dude, it seems like you are shouting"). But here is a mixed case approximation, with letter counts in parentheses:

There (6)
is (3)
no (3)
business (9)
like (5)
crypto (7)
business; (10)
apologies (10)
to (3)
Irving (7)
BERLIN (6)

(Total: 69 characters)

Re:They sentenced me to 20 years of cryptanalysis. (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295254)

don't ask don't tell! I love the music of Irving Berlin! fabulous!!!

OK, so now we know that.... (5, Funny)

dohzer (867770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294970)

N = B
Y = E
P = R
V = L
T = I
T = N (if it's preceded by another 'T'),

It shouldn't take too long to solve now.

Re:OK, so now we know that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295054)

You can't be serious.

Re:OK, so now we know that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295104)

LOL, good one!

Re:OK, so now we know that.... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295774)

53305))6*;4826)4.)4);806*;488
60))85;1(;:*883(88)5*;46(;88*96
*?;8)*(;485);5*2:*(;4956*2(5*—4)8
8*;4069285);)68)4;1(9;48081;8:8
1;4885;4)485528806*81(9;48;(88;4
(?34;48)4;161;:188;?;

I love cryptography ... and I love cryptography thanks to Edgar Allan. I was obsessed with The Gold Bug as a kid. That got me into cryptography, which eventually got me into programming. Now, get me Jupiter, we have work to do :)

if someone did crack these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295002)

Seems to me that if someone developed some combination of algorithms, mathematics, novel distributed processing techniques, or hardware that could easily crack public crypto challenges, and posted the results to claim credit, s/he might get attention beyond the "attaboy/girl, come work for us" kind. There could be consequences.

Re:if someone did crack these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295528)

No shit. I thought the idea was that the solution was an open secret designed to see who had not yet separated themselves from their ego and had to report their findings to superiors or whatever... A net to catch bad recruits that had failed to understand that the answer means nothing in real life compared to the timing of the delivery.

The maker coming out with hints... What to make of all this?

What's sad/scary about this... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295006)

The first three pieces of the puzzle were just very simple, basic, textbook hand-cyphers - two were Vigenère and one was a Transposition cipher - and it took them that long to do the first three - and the last one remains unsolved.

You'd think that with people from the CIA and NSA - they'd be able crack these things with their eyes closed.

It doesn't give me a lot of confidence that the government could crack anything strong than the ciphers encoded by a Capt'n Crunch decoder wheel...

Furthermore - any time someone claimed to have decoded a section of it - the NSA and/or CIA would claim that they had already figured it out...RIIIIIGHT...

Re:What's sad/scary about this... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295142)

Nothing sad about this. It just illustrates that cryptanalysis is very hard when there's not enough context.

In other words, you too can keep your messages secret for 20 years if you (1) keep your messages short and seemingly random, and (2) don't reuse the same cypher.

The three letter agencies have a better chance of decoding the Voynich manuscript than this statue, simply because there's more to analyze in the manuscript.

Why try? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295988)

Nothing sad about this. It just illustrates that cryptanalysis is very hard when there's not enough context.

Not only that, but there's little incentive to solve these cyphers. It's not like he's hiding a Swiss bank account or ICBM launch codes.
The best a cracker could expect would be some kudos and maybe a job offer.
Not something anyone is going to spend supercomputer time on or build a botnet to crack.

Re:What's sad/scary about this... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295458)

the ciphers encoded by a Capt'n Crunch decoder wheel...

Holy Draper, CryptoMan, now everyone knows about that.

Its a lyric by Irving Berliner.

Re:What's sad/scary about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295858)

Don't you mean a lyric by Irving "NYPVTTYP"?

Re:What's sad/scary about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295838)

> You'd think that with people from the CIA and NSA - they'd be able crack these things with their eyes closed.

What makes you think they have not?

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295116)

The artist is a stroke.

Something jumped out at me (2, Interesting)

Dracos (107777) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295164)

I'm not familiar with Kryptos, and I'm not one for cryptography. We know there are (at least) two layers here, the encryption and the resulting riddle. Obviously Sanborn is being coy.

The word IQLUSION stood out to me. At face value this seems to be a misspelling of illusion, but also obvious is the beginning IQ: intelligence quotient. If that is abbreviated to intelligence, and you read through the rest, you get intelligence illusion. Perhaps a reference to counter-intelligence? This is Langley, after all.

Maybe this is old news, or nothing, or part of the second layer riddle. Just something I thought of after a few minutes. I didn't have any insight about UNDERGRUUND, though.

Re:Something jumped out at me (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295730)

He intentionally misspelled some words to confuse cryptographers and not make it too simple.

Kryptos -- Section 2 - Coordinates (4, Informative)

BearGriz72 (1550707) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295238)

Re:Kryptos -- Section 2 - Coordinates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295956)

I tried to get directions for that from where I live, Melbourne.

Turns out it involves a lot of kayaking

Re:Kryptos -- Section 2 - Coordinates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34296838)

Chances are the letters in the 4th puzzle are from a one time pad, and the plain text can be retrieved at these coordinates. Maybe it's buried there, or given the earlier references to "transmitted", the plain text might be retrievable by using a radio signal (eg RFID)? It seems fitting that a puzzle for a spy agency would include a dead man's drop. --- JWD Sydney AU 2077

Re:Kryptos -- Section 2 - Coordinates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34297444)

He also did another installation, which is at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, named "Cyrillic Projector". It uses an interior light source to project the Cyrillic characters on the surrounding buildings at night. Pretty cool. This one has already been fully solved. IIRC, it contains text from a KGB training manual.

35.306193N, -80.729346W

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=University+of+North+Carolina+-+Charlotte,+Charlotte,+NC&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=34.587666,84.375&ie=UTF8&hq=University+of+North+Carolina+-+Charlotte&hnear=University+of+North+Carolina+-+Charlotte,+Charlotte,+Mecklenburg,+North+Carolina+28262&ll=35.306193,-80.729346&spn=0.000544,0.001287&t=k&z=20

It's the round object in between the buildings. Here's a pic:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84602957@N00/3435124031/

It's a cookbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295250)

IT'S A COOKBOOK!!

Kryptos from the word Kyrpton ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295376)

From Wikipedia:
Krypton is inert for most practical purposes. Krypton can also form clathrates with water when atoms of it are trapped in a lattice of the water molecules.

------
The water in front of the sculpture is showing that the final part is a Lattice-based cryptosystem...

Just my two cents...

Everybody already knew it was Berlin! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295450)

That's not the least bit helpful. Everyone knew those letters were Berlin. If only he had told us whether it is Irving, East, or New Hampshire.

dig! (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295910)

So Solution 2 gives some coordinates that identify a point near the sculpture [arcticus.com] , yet I can't find any mention of anyone taking a shovel to that location.

Has anyone been out there rooting around in the dirt?

The answer has to be a blindingly obvious "yes", but the internet fails to give me that answer...

Too Busy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295928)

Sorry, we're all too busy getting paid 6 figures to write Perl scripts to scan your SIGINT networks for insecure services, bypassing your IDSs/IPSs and attempting to try default passwords on behalf of foreign governments or 'private organisations' to do your stupid puzzle.

Cracked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34296284)

"First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin"

Misdirection ? (4, Interesting)

Rollgunner (630808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296426)

The guy is a cryptographer... I'd consider "Berlin" as being both a clue *and* a misdirection.

The message might well read something like : rememBER LINcoln's birthplace...

It's not in their best interest . . . (1)

bedouin (248624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296482)

They need to maintain a facade of incompetence so their opponents will continue to underestimate them.

just wondering (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296618)

I just have to say, shouldn't the CIA be just a tad bit embarrassed that they can't crack a piece of artwork that they commissioned and sits right in their own damn courtyard?

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