What has been described as "the most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age", and dubbed a recruitment tool for the NSA, CIA and MI6, is still a mystery to the public as no company or individual has taken credit or attempted to monetise the organisation that has now been nicknamed 'Cicada 3301'.
So what is 'Cicada 3301'? It is an organisation that, on three occasions, posted a set of puzzles for what is rumoured to be a possible recruitment of codebreakers/linguists from the public. The first internet puzzle was published on January 4th, 2012, the second on January 4th, 2013 and the third on January 4th 2014, then a clue was posted on January 4th 2016.
These puzzles focus heavily on data security, cryptography and steganography. An example of data security was found in April 2017 in the form of a verified encryption program that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication for data communication called 'Pretty Good Privacy' (PGP), the verified PGP signed message found was: "Beware false paths. Always verify PGP signature from 7A35090F."
Watch the video below for all the details about Cicada and its elaborate cryptographic internet puzzles orchestrated by the mysterious individual or group.