Do you fancy yourself as a puzzle solver? Here's your chance to try your hand at one of the internet's most difficult unsolved puzzles and join a mysterious top-secret club. Three puzzles were set, but one remains unsolved.
What is Cicada 3301?
Cicada 3301 is the nickname of a secret club who have set cunning puzzles to identify and recruit suitable individuals to their cause. Their nickname derives from the cicada logo they use in their messages and their sign off, 3301.
The first message from 'Cicada 3301'
What are the Cicada 3301 puzzles?
The story begins in 2012 with a message posted on 4Chan, an anonymous image and text forum. It stated that ''highly intelligent individuals'' were saught and challenged interested parties to find a message hidden in their post. The puzzle intrigued internet investigators from all over the world, and took them on a journey that required knowledge of data security, cryptography, steganography and internet anonymity. It leapt into the offline world with physical clues spanning Australia, Poland, the USA, France and South Korea. Find out more with a step by step walkthrough of the first puzzle. Marcus Wanner, then a 15-year-old student from Virginia, USA, was one of the triumphant puzzle solvers. Read a fascinating article and interview with him at Rolling Stone magazine.
January 2013 saw the mysterious group return to 4chan with a now-familiar challenge to find the hidden message within the image and start a journey that would require the questers to solve a number of puzzles, including book cypher, decrypting a secret hidden in a piece of music, unlock a gematria using Anglo-Saxon runes and scan codes written on posters in the USA, Russia and Japan. You can read a detailed walkthrough here.
The second puzzle from 'Cicada 3301'
Can I solve the latest Cicada 3301 puzzle?
Here's the latest, and currently unsolved puzzle. This was published in January 2014 on Twitter. Will you be the one to finally crack the code? Take a look at what has been discovered so far, and perhaps you know how to solve the final puzzle.
The third puzzle from 'Cicada 3301'
Who is Cicada 3301?
Who sets the puzzles? Nobody knows - some people think it's a recruitment tool for a big tech firm or a secretive government agency. Others are sure it's a cult of some description. The only thing we do know is taken from a leaked email from the organisation to someone who cracked the second code:
"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."
Good luck, and happy sleuthing. If you end up solving the final puzzle, don't forget to drop us a line! For further reading, visit the Cicada 3301 Fandom.