Feeds

Confusion over 'secret code' in US military Cyberforce crest

Rogue hyphen leaves puzzle fiends scratching heads

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Online puzzle fiends are struggling to crack a "secret" cryptogram included in the newly-formed US military cyber command's official seal. Most of the confusion arises from an extra hyphen in the Command official mission statement.

The US Cyber Command official seal

What's a good way of symbolising codes 'n' stuff, Larry?

As can be seen in the image above, the Cyber Command seal's inner golden ring has the legend 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a inscribed on it. This has been discussed online for some time, but Wired was the first media channel to notice it this week. The mag's online defence blog is offering a free T-shirt or a ticket to the International Spy Museum to the first person to crack the "code".

In fact the string of characters is merely an MD5 hash of the Command's mission statement:

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.

Provided that this is entered correctly into a hash generator, the Cyber Command seal string is produced. That appears to be all there is to it - a reasonably technically literate effort in the context of US military heraldry, but scarcely much of a puzzle.

Some confusion has been caused by the fact that US Strategic Command, in charge of USCYBERCOM, offers a slightly altered mission statement - with a superfluous hyphen in "full spectrum".

We certainly aren't the first to notice this, and anyway we prefer our Vulture T-shirts here, so we'll leave the Wired competition glory to someone else. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.