Uncovering Cicada Wiki
Uncovering Cicada Wiki

Before you start reading, Nox Populi has a multi-part series on what happened in 2012(parts one, two, and three) that you may find helpful and we recommend you watch.

The Email

Those who applied early enough or followed the 'Numbers dot TK' hint were greeted with this email:

PGP-Signed Message
Hash: SHA1
This message will only be displayed once.
Here is a message that has been encrypted with RSA (the Crypt::RSA Perl module available in CPAN) :
Version: 1.99
Scheme: Crypt::RSA::ES::OAEP
Here is the public key used to encrypt it. Note that it has a low bit modulus and is therefore breakable:
$VAR1 = bless( {
                 'e' => 65537,
                 'n' => '7880891639791153779530258464649693928733411681581577103690292822333198036864739065916344030512697162068582555837',
                 'Version' => '1.99',
                 'Identity' => '<quaetrix0@gmail.com>'
               }, 'Crypt::RSA::Key::Public' );
The encrypted message is a number.  Break the decryption key, then come back to this same URL and enter the 
decrypted message to continue.  Each person who has come this far has received a unique message encrypted 
with a unique key.  You are not to collaborate.  Sharing your message or key will result in not receiving 
the next step.
There is a second chance to get your own RSA message and key.  Follow the "Numbers dot TK" hint to find it.
There are many fake messages out there.  Only messages signed with public key ID 7A35090F are valid.  
Good luck.
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)

After the RSA puzzle, people who submitted the correct answer to their individual RSA puzzle (each person had different "n") to the onion page received another email with a MIDI puzzle. The MIDI puzzle and solution can be found there: http://pastebin.com/4nrDxVXk.

If you don't understand how the cipher was solved ask in #cicadasolvers. Basicly it was substitution cipher where one tone in midi was one letter. Midi consist two songs. Second one is encrypted text from Chorus of Blakes Poem A Song of Liberty (Let the Chorus be your guide to the depths : was hint). First midi song was encrypted text players had to decrpy, with unique set of words on the end:

verygood you have proven to be most dedicated to come this

far to attain enlightenment create a gpg key for your email address

and upload it to the mit key servers then encrypt the the following

word list using the cicada three three ero one public key sign it

with your key send the ascii armoured ciphertet to the gmail address

from which you received your numbers your words are

[unique list of words here]
garden ball house cat shore back head galon

Lurkers midi puzzle from 2012 example:

[18:40] <NiceLurk> https://infotomb.com/oq17i here is midi from 2012
[18:40] <NiceLurk> http://pastebin.com/4nrDxVXk here is how it was solved

Note: as infotomb is down, that link no longer works. a copy of it can be found here.

The Invitation

Those who sent an encrypted PGP signed email with their words were later invited with the infamous "leaked email".

From here, nobody knows what really happened, as the original puzzle was not very well documented in its end stages like the second puzzle was. Hopefully one day this will come to light, but after recieving this email every person that did so went completely dark, as if they had disappeared from the internet.

Nobody knew how deep the rabbit hole went, but all the solvers could agree: it was the deepest they'd ever seen.

What happened after this is mostly still not known, apart for few slips when some people told a bit more about what was going on later. Logs of those testemonies can be found on Unfiction. Legitimacy of those is not confirmed, it might be just trolling. After all, 3301 might not exist at all.

The Final Message

After a whole month without any word from 3301, the following message was posted on the subreddit from the start (a2e7j6ic78h0j), in a post entitled Valēte! (meaning goodbye, farewell). It reads as follows:


We have now found the individuals we sought. Thus our month-long journey ends.

For now.

Thank you for your dedication and effort. If you were unable to complete the test, or did not recieve an email, do not despair.

There will be more opportunities like this one.

Thank you all.


P.S. 1041279065891998535982789873959431895640\

This was the final message recieved from cicada in 2012 that was confirmed to be them. Mentions of 3301 popped up throughout the rest of the year, and by december everyone had forgotten about it.


Until 2013.

Note: For any of the fake messages/speculations, please visit the appropriate pages from the main page.