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CICADA 3301, or the “most elaborate and mysterious” cryptographic puzzles in the internet history, has set insanely convoluted challenges for developers and code-breakers since 2012. Nobody knows, where the puzzle comes from, who developed it (my money is on Freemasons), is the Government behind it or the Koreans, or it’s just an insignificant mind-boggling troll. No matter who the creators are, CICADA 3301 has flabbergasted nearly every internet sleuth, code investigator and computer analysts. Irrespective of the speculations on creators–The Illuminati, or The Anonymous, CICADA 3301 remains an unsolved mystery swimming from forum to blogs since 2012. Here are 10 quick facts of CICADA 3301 that will surely evoke gothic surprise: 

  1. The first image of CICADA 3301 surfaces on the internet (possibly Dark Web), was released in January 2012, and was initially posted on sites like 4Chan and Reddit. The first image of CICADA 3301
  2. One clue leads to another. The puzzle, intended to tease the brightest brains, is based on data security, cryptography, and steganography.
  3. Who’s behind the Puzzle? Upon reports of consistent failure in solving the puzzle, CICADA earned the popularity it has today. Many hypothesized that it was a recruitment tool developed by MI6, CIA, NSA or a cyber mercenary group above
    One of the clues was reported to be spotted in Warsaw, Poland.
    One of the clues was reported to be spotted in Warsaw, Poland.

     all intellects in the world or is just a hyped, Masonic Conspiracy. Anyway, there are many speculations of who’s the creator of the puzzle. 

  4. After a month in January 2012, CICADA announced, they have discovered the people they were looking for and would return with new puzzles in 2013 and 2014. True to their claims, CICADA 3301 returned with the next puzzle, that was solving the sacred book–Liber Primus, which was claimed to have hidden clues. People who solved the first stage were ordered by both CICADA and their curiosity, to travel to distinguished locations in the world and locate the physical clues.
  5. There is no assumed purpose in the launch of the CICADA 3301 puzzle, and this uncertainty has led to plenty of speculation. The only clues that anyone has gotten so far, are the PGP acknowledged messages from CICADA 3301 itself which states that the only declared purpose of the puzzle is recruiting highly intelligent individuals. 
  6. One of the theories is sinister in its allegation, which states that CICADA 3301 might be an attempt to recruit for a cult or to just make people acquainted with occult ideas as plenty of clues were a reference to writings from Blavatsky and Crowley.
  7. Claims of Marcus Wanner: By the end of 2012, Wanner was one of the few able candidates to solve CICADA 3301, who later in a Rolling Stone interview claimed that he was questioned constantly about his beliefs on intellectual independence and censorship. Being the winner, he joined the “brood” and was tasked to create a software–Anonymous Key Escrow System, aimed to protect whistleblowers. Later in the interview, he mentioned that suddenly his “brood” vanished from the forum he was working on, and he never got a chance to know what exactly CICADA and its intentions were.
  8. Warnings by old members: After a year of the first puzzle launch, an anonymous member posted a warning in the CICADA IRC after being a participant of the anonymous group for over a decade. In his claims, he bluntly declared that the cult-like group is a “religion disguised as a progressive scientific organization.” The encodedLiber Primus message then later became “The Warning”.
  9. What is Liber Primus- Discovered at the end of the CICADA puzzle in 2014, the Liber Primus, is a 60-page book of runes which remains undeciphered to this day. Abandoned by frustration, Liber Primus has killed the enthusiasm of several coders. There is no translation available for the “runes” language which was stated by CICADA as the way to the map.
  10. Only available on Dark Web: The Dark Web is already a host to several nasty and mysterious acts, and CICADA is one of them. Till date, after nearly 8 years of mystery, debates, accusations, only the creators know, what CICADA 3301 actually is.

Final Words: Only the words of Liber Primus, can reveal the true meaning of CICADA. Till then, CICADA remains a frustrating mystery, secret channel to enlightenment as it claims, or just a hoax.

CICADA 3301 is the “most elaborate and mysterious” cryptographic puzzles in internet history. Here are 10 quick facts about CICADA 3301.

Shruti Kaushik

Shruti Kaushik, she doesn't look like that but she is most likely smarter than the baby Groot. I mean, she is an engineer who also likes mysteries, goth, mythical Egyptian religions, and unsolved controversies.

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