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Crack the Code In US Cyber Command's Logo 380

Posted by samzenpus
from the hardy-boys-wanted dept.
Dan writes "According to Wired: 'The US military's new Cyber Command is headquartered at Ft. Meade, Maryland, one of the military's most secretive and secure facilities. Its mission is largely opaque, even inside the armed forces. But the there's another mystery surrounding the emerging unit. It's embedded in the Cyber Command logo. On the logo's inner gold ring is a code: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a.'"
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Crack the Code In US Cyber Command's Logo

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  • md5? (Score:5, Informative)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:35AM (#32838868)
    Looks like it is the same length as an MD5 sum...
    • Re:md5? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:40AM (#32838952)

      It is a dumb md5 hash and nothing more.

      "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."

      • Re:md5? (Score:5, Informative)

        by simcop2387 (703011) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:49AM (#32839104) Homepage Journal

        whoever you are, you deserve a cookie.

        echo -n "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." | md5sum
        9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a -

        • by MoonBuggy (611105)

          Holy crap, that was quick!

        • Re:md5? (Score:5, Funny)

          by DIplomatic (1759914) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:04AM (#32839354) Journal
          Keep digging, I'm pretty sure this will end up as promotion for a new Halo game. :P
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by geekoid (135745)

          No they don't. It was trivial. Perhaps I should say: The First part was trivial.

          Don't tell me I am the only one that noticed how oddly worded that is? I mean, if you are just going to md5 something, why word it so poorly? Why the double meaning of 'domains'?

          Maybe I am reading too much into it, but my experience show that this would be typical double meaning often used by covert operations.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jandrese (485)
            That's one of those classic "design by committee" mission statements that end up bogged down with every single little thing the company does because everybody has their own little fiefdom that they want represented.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Americano (920576)

            You've never worked for a division/company/department that has a "mission statement" or "vision statement" before?

            This is typical bureaucratic jargon, I read it and thought for a second - "Hey I worked at that place before!" And then I realized that they didn't also claim they were going to "synergize... [their] product offerings while remaining the provider of choice for world-class enterprise solutions."

        • The answer was posted yesterday at 2pm Eastern in the comments:
          http://uscybercom-watch.blogspot.com/2010/06/uscybercom-logo.html [blogspot.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Qzukk (229616)

          So if we watch the logo carefully, we'll know when someone tries to change the mission statement?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Its just a hash of their mission statement:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Cyber_Command [wikipedia.org]

        "The text '9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a', which is located in the command's emblem, is the MD5 hash of their mission statement."

        • Re:md5? (Score:5, Funny)

          by severn2j (209810) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:41AM (#32839898)
          Doesn't pretty much every government department make a hash of their mission statement?
      • Re:md5? (Score:4, Funny)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:08AM (#32839406) Journal

        So what's the maximum length message that an MD5 number can hold?

        • Re:md5? (Score:5, Funny)

          by sepelester (794828) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:15AM (#32839538)

          So what's the maximum length message that an MD5 number can hold?

          Infinite - 1

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by ailnlv (1291644)

          its just a hash; in theory you shouldn't be able to recover the original message from an md5sum, since several messages can have the same sum. There is no maximum length to what you can hash using md5.

        • Re:md5? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Aphoxema (1088507) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:25AM (#32839674) Homepage Journal

          MD5s don't hold information, they're a trap-door. It's perfectly possible that another combination of characters would lead to the same MD5, but it's incredibly unlikely that those characters would be lingually meaningful.

          Passwords are often "stored" server-side as a hash. Why I quote "stored" is because the password isn't stored at all! The server doesn't know the actual password, you would have to digest every possible combination of characters to find a hash that exactly matches the one stored on the server, but by knowing a string that already does (your password) you're already there.

          MD5 alone is a poor choice for trapping important strings because it is possible to "plan" a collision... for example, if a web-site offered you a file and an MD5 hash to test the source of that file, with enough cleverness and computing power another party could give you a different file with the same MD5 hash.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        When they said in the article that it had to do with their mission, I figured it must be a hash of "Use Fear Uncertainty, Doubt, and Lies to bilk the taxpayers out of as much money as possible while providing absolutely no tangible benefit to anyone."

        Apparently, they chose to just use their "cover mission".

        -Steve

      • Is it wise to put the md5 hash of a mission statement that is likely to be subject to frequent change on a logo which should not?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by networkBoy (774728)

          hey, on the bright side if they try to change it and say it's always been that way, we can point at their logo (especially any that are engraved) and say: nuh-uh you changed it!
          -nB

      • I misread the final word as "advertisers" and for a minute was getting pretty enthusiastic about signing up...

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Actually the real message meta-coded there is : "We are not serious people, we just are here to take some taxpayers money and give a false sense of security by sitting in front of shiny computers.".
    • Re:md5? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:42AM (#32838994)

      Looks like it is the same length as an MD5 sum...

      The MD5 sum of the secret Cyber Command PR effort to get geeks to talk about it without delving too deep into the actual workings and mission of the Cyber Command. Hmm, I wonder if it will work?

    • Re:md5? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jimmyswimmy (749153) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:47AM (#32839054)
      $ echo -n "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." | md5sum
      9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a  -
      • by jgardia (985157)

        wow!

      • Confirmed. We have a winner.

      • by bezenek (958723)

        Apparently they came up with the idea for the logo "code" before they hired the talent.

        -Todd

      • by TJamieson (218336)

        Now, how about a collision? Let's see what other "sentences" can end up at the same md5sum :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by v1 (525388)

      and just how are we supposed to find anything "meaningful" in the result of a one way hash? To say that a one way hash (with an arbitrary sized input)"encodes" anything is just plain stupid.

      Oh I know! It's the original draft of the Constitution of the United States! Imagine that, all in 16 bytes! What amazing compression! Really, you're not going to fit much "meaningful" beyond a telephone number in a ciphertext THAT small. It's a hash.

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        You're looking at it the wrong way. The search for a meaningful match makes you use different tactics from simple codebreaking. You have to actually understand the subject, what's relevant, and what isn't. Recognizing it as an md5 is the first part, then assume it's not any more obfuscated than that is the second.

        Going to an md5 dictionary to find the content might give interesting results, but I think this was found quite easily using likely data to calculate an md5 match. Probably took less than 5 trie

    • Re:md5? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Doomstalk (629173) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:58AM (#32839252)
      That's because it is an MD5 sum [theregister.co.uk]
  • I got it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:35AM (#32838874)

    Don't ... forget to... drink... your ovaltine?!?! a lousy commercial!?

  • Already Solved (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The first reply in the Reddit thread already has the answer: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/cmxm0/proggit_if_you_decode_this_i_will_love_you/

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:36AM (#32838892)
    ...its their public key. :)
    • by Tom (822)

      it's not, but the idea is great. For a whistleblowing service, Wikileaks like thing or something similar, incorporating your public key into the logo would be a great way to spread it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by bonkeydcow (1186443)
      I was thinking the same, only I was going to say it's their private key.
  • Next Up (Score:5, Funny)

    by PixieDust (971386) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:36AM (#32838894)
    Sony sues US Cyber Command for posting an AACS key (yes I know it's not).
  • And... (Score:5, Informative)

    by stressclq (881842) * on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:36AM (#32838898)
    It was quite swiftly found out to be the MD5 hash of (remove quotes): "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."

    News at 11..

    • by vossman77 (300689)

      echo -n "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." | md5sum

      Gives:

      9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a -

    • There's a spurious hyphen in the blurb. "... full-spectrum..." is how it is now. This is what other stories I've seen regarding this are about.
  • MD5 (Score:5, Funny)

    by FalconZero (607567) * <FalconZero@GmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:37AM (#32838904)
    It's (obviously) MD5 length. The results of a quick reverese MD5 lookup are as follows :

    USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.

    However, as we all know, MD5 isn't 1-1. It could well just be a conincidence, or something completely different.
    • (The US Cyber Command mission statement.)
      ....as stated by everyone else here, replies to the original article, wikipedia etc....

      Yet another reminder to me to use Google first, then do things like reverse MD5 lookups.....
    • Re:MD5 (Score:5, Funny)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:00AM (#32839278)
      Actually, it turns out that every paragraph USCYBERCOM publishes will have the same MD5 hash; they are showing off their ability to find collisions.
  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:38AM (#32838932)
    It's "All Your Base Are Belong To Us!"

    Wait, too soon?
  • Wait! (Score:5, Funny)

    by multipartmixed (163409) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:39AM (#32838944) Homepage

    9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a?!!

    That's the combination to my luggage!

  • I reckon (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:42AM (#32838992) Homepage Journal

    "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a logo factory"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:43AM (#32838998)

    It's no secret. Somebody called their office and asked what it was. It's the mission statement.

    I'm sure the conspiracy nuts will just say that's a convenient hash collision and that the real message is the date and time the Loch Ness Bigfoot Anti-Christ from Betelgeuse heads up the New World Order.

  • easy (Score:5, Funny)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:45AM (#32839026) Homepage Journal

    that's the US government's Windows Product Key

    and the purpose of Cyber Command is to keep track of all software activation and licenses, and make sure no bonehead buys a region 2 dvd disk

    the only reason Cyber Command's mission is opaque is that the government fears being sued by the BSA and MPAA because they installed windows xp on every government computer from a cd they bought in hong kong for $12, and they put an avi of "The Hangover" they got off of pirate bay on a network drive

  • It's a Windows 95 key!

  • by ZirbMonkey (999495) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:48AM (#32839080)

    It seems pretty obvious.

  • by magusxxx (751600) <magusxxx_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @09:50AM (#32839130)
    If you don't know : whose data not to touch : you must not value : your freedom very much : Burma Shave

  • It's the rosetta stone, literally, it's the key. That number is the hash for 42.
  • by v1 (525388) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:00AM (#32839276) Homepage Journal

    Think about it. What organization wouldn't be at least somewhat interested in trying to put their entire mission statement in their logo? Success. And appropriate for them to use a hash for it. Although their choice of hash was poor. You'd think they would have used a more modern hash that's considered more secure? But maybe they wanted to go with that because they weren't intending for it to be secure, just fit, and be appropriate.

    • I think a SHA256 sum would have been too long to fit on the logo:

      7521ea74913335fc0fb3a47dfa0ca32636ff59bceabadee0dcfbf25ad85a03eb

      That is twice as long as the MD5 hash; the logo has limited space, and I am guessing they did not want to force people to use a magnifying glass to see the numbers.
  • Wait a minute... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:03AM (#32839328) Journal

    It's written in an obscure script on the inside of a golden ring?

    Well, duh. Isn't it obvious?

    "Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."

    Quick! We need some midgets and an active volcano!

  • by CODiNE (27417)

    It's the key for the Eagle Eye bluray release.

    I don't know why they would have that in their logo, seems kind of random to me.

    Wait... is that a... a construction crane?? Whoah... looks like it's coming in this dir$@HHXxXXXX____

    NO CARRIER

  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:16AM (#32839544) Homepage
    Where you see the word cyber, there is an idiot nearby waiting to waste your money.
  • by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Thursday July 08, 2010 @10:18AM (#32839592) Homepage Journal
    It's the WEP key for their WiFi. Handy for all staff who forget easily.
  • Kryptos is gibberish. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptos [wikipedia.org]
  • "United States Cyber Command"

    What do I win?

  • The proper logo for a Cybercommand that could do its job well would be a PHB skull wearing a military cap with the motto "Defending against all enemies foreign, domestic, and corporate."

  • by SloWave (52801) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @11:04AM (#32840202) Journal

    What's more interesting is if you take the first letters of each word in their mission statement and parse them correctly, you get 'UPC is a cat' followed by a list of acronyms for all sorts of shadowy secret organizations and technologies...

    upc is a cat dto ados dod in a pta wd cfs mco io tea ia de UA foa i cad tst oa

  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday July 08, 2010 @12:01PM (#32840960) Homepage Journal

    When you run the numerical code in the US Cyber Command's logo through a standard two-pass RSA decryption, match it against known quantum fractal ciphers, look at it in a mirror while standing on your head, and de-converge your eyeballs to get the stereo effect, it reads as follows:

    "A/S/L?"

    But what could it possibly mean?

Can't open /usr/fortunes. Lid stuck on cookie jar.

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