Decypering The Hackaday.io Illuminati

A few months ago, a strange account popped up on hackaday.io. Whoever is behind this count is based in Bielefeld, Germany – a place that doesn’t exist. They are somehow related to the Berenstain / Berenstein Bears dimensional rift, and they may be responsible for giving Cap’n Crunch only three rank insignia on his uniform. There is something very, very strange about this account. Since August, a black and white image of static, 98 pixels wide and 518 pixels tall has sat on this account profile. The Illuminati has given us enough clues, but until now, no one has managed to crack the code.

The first person to make sense out of the patterns in static is [Moritz Walter]. What’s in the code? More codes. While that’s not really helpful, it is to be expected.

SecretCodes2The hackaday illuminati included one additional piece of information with their encoded static image: a 12×12 pixel bitmap. When this bitmap was XORed with the main image, symbols appeared. In total, there are only seven unique symbols in the image. These symbols seem to be stolen from the Fez alphabet, but there are some significant differences. These symbols are rotated multiples of 90 degrees, and are surrounded by a one pixel border that is either black or white (we’re calling the border a ‘sign’ bit). In total, these seven symbols arranged in four different rotations with two different signs yields forty unique variations of a symbol in the decoded image. At this point, it should be noted 7*2*4 = 56.

As of now, cracking the illuminati’s cyphered machinations has hit a roadblock. There’s a dead image file on the illuminati’s profile. Until that image is rehosted, there is no way to progress any further. That’s not going to stop people from trying, though: the chat channels on hackaday.io have been buzzing about the newly decrypted images. Hopefully, with time, someone will figure out what it all means.

33 thoughts on “Decypering The Hackaday.io Illuminati

  1. i’m no cryptographer, but i hypothesize that the first 10 (from left to right) may represent 1234567890.( 0 being the black empty square) the rest would probably represent symbols and letters, but i wouldn’t know where to start if they did.

  2. the “missing image” is a link to a blank text file. It doesn’t seem to be a picture at all. just a file of 0 bytes titled: “0dfz7.txt” is this a clue for the other two images by chance?

        1. Google translate says:
          “I’ve applied for should actually be forwarded to each”
          “Ehm chief says I should withdraw units , sorry”

          I’m going to go with coincidence on that one.

    1. I’d be genuinely surprised if the “0dfz7” is meaningful. It seems like it’s just the arbitrary string of characters assigned to that particular file on that particular file host, similar to image IDs on Imgur. shortened URLs via things like TinyURL, and more. I would by all means suggest combing through all image hosts and file hosts to see what lies there with that ID, I suspect it was an error on the coordinator’s part.

  3. spoiler: it deciphers to “http://tinyurl.com/2fcpre6”
    What is the possible max message length if those are some kind of byte? is their “missing file” filename the prime, hash key, signature, or checksum? they only used an xor for the first gate (and gave us the key) so I dont imagine the rest of the obfuscation is that complicated.

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