I R 3133+

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If you’ve seen the movie Hackers (or have used a computer sometime in the past 20 years), you should be able to read the post title. If you can’t, then just google “3133+” and commence to feeling superior about your “‘pu+3r $k!1z.”

Anyway… The reason this has surfaced in my brain stew is because something from the “hacking” community has actually made the news. And it isn’t even a bad thing. You know, like the usual “Hacks steal 3.8 million porn passwords” or something. No, this has to do with something that lots of people think they’re “experts” at, even though they’re really more “shitty half-ass amateurs.” I’m talking about…. cryptography.

heh. I thought that might be enough to get you to click through without prompting.

So… the news (such as it is) just today popped up with a story on something that has actually been circling the darker corners of the ‘Net for a while now. Namely, the Cicada 3301 stuff. For those of you who don’t feel like doing a lot of reading, I’ll sum it up for you. Basically, for a couple of years now, a group that has come to be called the Cicada Group has been dropping clues out on the ‘Net and then having people follow a harder and harder series of cryptographic tests to lead them to a specific website which, for a small, set number of people each year, leads them (it is believed) to more, private tests, which eventually lead them to the group itself. Maybe. Or it might lead them to a coupon for a free fries with Big Mac purchase. No one really knows because no one is saying (or no one has successfully passed the tests). The reason it’s popped up now is that it is believed that on January 4, 2014, it will start over again. And everybody and their dog wants to be one of the few that make it to the next round. You know… the 3133+.

Why am I telling you all this? No, not because I’m trying to drum up more people to join in, and no, I’m not trying to convince people not to try. Hell, go for it if you want to. Personally, I’m going to skip it.

After all… I know who’s behind it.

Well, okay, I’m only 99.95% sure I know who’s behind it, but let’s just say that if it were anyone else, I’d be shocked and amazed. The group I’m inclined to believe are behind it have been doing shit like this for years and years and years. They made me go through the same sort of testing about 20 years ago. I passed, by the way. Made it in the club. Got to see all the shady corners that normals don’t need to know exist. Hell, a couple of ’em used to come to my house occasionally. Great guys, generally. This was all before the Internet made it much easier to coordinate on a global scale, but they still did things on a global scale. That was just the way they rolled.

I haven’t been part of the festivities in years, though. I moved, got a new job, and just lost touch (well, except for the occasional email to/from a couple of the guys using an old address.) Last I visited the old stomping grounds, everything was pretty much the same, though.

But no, I’m not going to out any of them. They know my real name and can figure out how to get hold of me if they want to. To confirm, deny, or just invite me down for a beer or 13. Or even a non-alcoholic beverage, depending on who reads this.

For anyone else, though…. don’t bother trying to match the handle attached to this post to anything in the past. That was at least 5 or 6 aliases ago, including a couple that no one (and I mean NO ONE) knows were me.

Oh, and for those wondering why I think I know who it is… some of the tests for the recent rounds are virtually identical to what I went through. Also, they’ve hidden a clue to their identity in plain sight if you just know what you’re looking at.

So… good luck, if you give it a go. Trust me…. you’ll need it.

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