Feeds

Confusion over 'secret code' in US military Cyberforce crest

Rogue hyphen leaves puzzle fiends scratching heads

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.