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Mystery Crypto Letter Has Coders Stumped

July 15th, 2008 Posted in Science & Technology, Security

Now this is super interesting!!!

A coded letter sent last year to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois has the lab, and outside coders stumped. The letter was sent anonymously last March in a hand-addressed envelope via regular mail to the physics lab’s public affairs office.

mystery cyrpto letter

After sitting on the letter for more than a year, the lab posted it on a physics blog in May, hoping to get help cracking it.

Thousands of sleuths have taken a stab at it so far and have succeeded to crack two parts of the letter. An engineer at the Canadian Space Center used a variation of the base-3 system to uncover a line that reads “Frank Shoemaker would call this noise,” which refers to an 86-year-old retired Princeton University physicist who helped design the magnets used with the lab’s first particle accelerator, known as the Main Ring. Another line in the letter has been cracked to read, “Employee number basse sixteen.”

(from Wired: Threat Level)

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