Uncovering Cicada Wiki
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Uncovering Cicada Wiki

The Email

On February the 6th, 2012, a guest submitted the following email to pastebin, supposedly leaked from 3301/Cicada after solving the 2012 puzzle:

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

Initial Reaction

When the email was first leaked, it sparked controversy amongst the community. Would you believe it or not? On one hand, it was never PGP verified so it couldn't be real. On the other hand, it was supported by known solvers of the puzzle.

Over the years, it came to be believed by nearly all of the community. In 2021, it would finally be confirmed when the community at whole re-discovered an old reddit post.

Email is PGP Verified

In late 2019, 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.

PGP-Signed Message
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

DO NOT SHARE THIS INFORMATION!

Congratulations.  Your testing has finally come to an end.  We hope you have enjoyed
the "vacation" over the last few weeks.  You will be very busy now should you choose
to join us.

There are two final steps, although there won't be any hidden codes, or secret messages,
or physical treasure hunts.  This first of these 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 answer the next few questions, and send your encrypted responses to
c1231507051321@gmail.com

* 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 : i.e., 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
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
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=e3lt
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

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.

As visible in a Google Cache of a hackforums post, a user posted the same pastebin in 2016 (Screenshot), showing that the information was known 4 years prior but not documented fully.

In 2019, the reddit post mentioned the message but it was still not documented until it was re-posted in 2021 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.

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