3301 cicada, this has been modified from your orriginal text in order to remove your uber sekret 0hd4y identifications signature. If you think it belongs to any particular applicant it does not; and you DO know what I mean. u mad? < !-- Slightly odified content, in attempt to hide identity of leaker. Cicada sent different (punctuations, sentence structure)email to every receiver, so that any leaks can be backtracked to receiver. --> ---BEGIN FU ENCODING STRIPPED MESSAGE--- DO NOT SHARE THIS INFORMATION! Congratulations your month of testing has come to an end out of the thousands who attempted it you are one of only a few who have succeeded. There is one last step although there will not be any hidden codes or secret messages or physical treasure hunts this last step is only honesty we have always been honest with you and we shall continue to be honest with you and we expect you to be honest with us in return. You have all wondered who we are and so we shall now tell you we are an international group we have no name we have no symbol we have no membership rosters we do not have a public website and we do not advertise ourselves we are a group of individuals who have proven ourselves much like you have by completing this recruitment contest and we are drawn together by common beliefs a careful reading of the texts used in the contest would have revealed some of these beliefs that tyranny and oppression of any kind must end that censorship is wrong and that privacy is an inalienable right. We are not a *hacker* group nor are we a *warez* group we do not engage in illegal activity nor do our members if you are engaged in illegal activity we ask that you cease any and all illegal activities or decline membership at this time we will not ask questions if you decline however if you lie to us we will find out. You are undoubtedly wondering what it is that we do we are much like a *think tank* in that our primary focus is on researching and developing techniques to aid the ideas we advocate liberty privacy security you have undoubtedly heard of a few of our past projects and if you choose to accept membership we are happy to have you on-board to help with future projects. Please reply to this email with the answers to the next few questions to continue: * Do you believe that every human being has a right to privacy and anonymity and is within their rights to use tools which help obtain and maintain privacy cash strong encryption anonymity software etc? * Do you believe that information should be free? * Do you believe that censorship harms humanity? We look forward to hearing from you. 3301 ---END FUUUUUUUUUUU--- We look forward to hearing from you. Anonymous
Analysis by Counterhash
Solving-regular Counterhash requested at the time that although they would do their best to debunk this email in the following, the ultimate decision as to whether or not you believe this is real or fake has to be made by you. With that out of the way, let's dive right in:
If you go through the revisions for this article, you'll find a full debunking.
I stand corrected.
The message initially looks quite odd, as it is badly written, with punctuation missing and no GPG signature attached. One would, as I did, initially assume that the message is an obvious fake. After speaking with members who actually recieved this message, apparently the message was sent out with different punctuation between different solvers. The purpose of this was that the message remained legible, but if it were leaked it could be traced to an individual solver, either by punctuation or GPG key.
The brave person who leaked this put multiple copies of his details through the form, and recieved a number of emails. He worked out this pattern and combined the emails to create what we see above. He stripped it of the GPG signature, and merged the punctuation.
The message is probably the only piece of evidence we can go off as to who 3301 is/are.
I will go about contacting users who recieved this message, and seeing if I can get ahold of a version with a confirmed GPG signature. For the moment:
The consensus among regulars at the time seems to be that the message is genuine, excluding the obvious modifications for privacy reasons and introduction.
A new old leak
In 2020, a redditor noticed an old pastebin with the same message seemingly from the end of the 2013 puzzle - except this time the signature was intact and verifiable, seeming to confirm the original paste.
Origin of the pastebin
The pastebin itself was posted in 2014 by an anonymous guest, a year after the message was signed. It's not known who supplied the information at this time.
In 2020, the reddit post mentioned the message but it was still not documented until it was re-posted a year later on Discord.
In this case the information was repeatedly forgotten or dismissed, and this serves as an example of why it's important to Check The Wiki and mention updated information rather than assume it's just old.