Introduction and Disclaimer

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. -->



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.



We look forward to hearing from you.


Counterhash requests that although they will 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:

Why this makes sense

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:


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