Feeds

Confusion over 'secret code' in US military Cyberforce crest

Rogue hyphen leaves puzzle fiends scratching heads

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.