Cicada 3301 and the deep web enigmas
We already talked on Fanwave about the existence of many powerful secret societies bringing together from studs to kings, politics and business men among the most influential of the world. But the the most mysterious and perhaps the most disturbing of all does not officially fall under the secret societies category.
Cicda 3301 recruits cryptoanalysts
Cicada 3301, this is the name of the mysterious organisation, officially want to select “highly intelligent individuals” to recruit the best cryptoanalysts of the whole world, able to solve enigmas and mysteries published by Cicada 3301 over the years. But who or what really hides behind this organisation no one was able to prove so far, although most people think can be an anonymous private company, engaged in cryptography and decryption.
Three unsolvedy mysteries
So fare Cicada 3301 has published three riddles: internet puzzle started on January 5, 2012, and ran for a month on 4chan.org, the second appeared on Janyary 5, 2013, on Twitter, the third was published January 5, 2014, ny repeating the message appeared on Twitter the year before. No new puzzles were published on 2015, but a fouth message was posted on Twitter on January 5, 2016.
Every time different decryption techniques
Described by Washington Post as one of the “top 5 eeriest, unsolved mysteries of the internet”, Cicada 3301's puzzle required over the years the use of many different communication media including internet, telephones, original music, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, physical paper signs, and pages of unpublished cryptic books. Over the year changed many varying techniques to encrypt, encode, or hide data, even inside images, having referenced a wide variety of books, poetry, artwork and music.
Are secret services involved?
Each clue has been signed by the same GnuPG private key to confirm authenticity, but other than that, so far it is not clear whether Cicada 3301 is a fictional organisation whose puzzles are used by secret services like Cia, Nsa or MI6 for recruitment, by cyber-terrorist groups (Authorities from the Los Andes Province of Chile claimed it could be an hacker group engaged in illegal activities, but Cicada 3301 with a PGP-signed statement denyied any involvement in illegal activity), or it is an alternate reality game or even a financial group working on cryptocurrencies like bitcoins.
The outcome of selections remained secret
Even the outcome of the four mysteries and related selections was never officially revealed, even if you know that to solve the riddles (some cluse of which were revealed, starting from the cicada picture which become the Cicada 3301 logo) were required to travel in many different cities in United States, but even in Mexico, in Spain, in Russia, in France, in Poland, in Japan and in Australia.
Followers of the deep web are being sought?
According to Tim Dailey (analyst of the conservative Christian lobbying group Family Research Council) Cicada 3301 would insted be an occultist club recruiting for a cult so to draw participants into the “dark side” of the deep webfollowing the exemple of controversial figuers such as Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, or Aleister Crowley, founder of Majestic 12. It's true or not, enigmas of this alleged organisation inspired even the Us Navy, which released a cryptographic challenge, the “Project Architeuthis”, based on Cicada 3011's 2014 riddle: can this be a clue?