Solving FBI’s 2008 Code Cracking Challenge

by Ajit Gaddam on December 29, 2008

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a code cracking challenge today. This was in response to a similar challenge the FBI issued last year, which proved to be hugely popular with many thousands responding to the crypto challenge.

The FBI Code Cracking Challenge

FBI's 2008 Crypto Challenge

FBI

The FBI embedded the above code as a flash file. The code for all you cryptanalysts

VFWTDLCSWV. YD NSLMIJFWEJFD GSW SL NIJNQBLM FOBV EJFDVF DLNIGTFBSL.KBVBF YYY.AHB.MSK/NSCDC.OFZ FS EDF WV QLSY SA GSWI VWNNDVV.

More resources to solve this challenge

2008 FBI Code Cracking Challenge: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/dec08/code_122908.html

2007 FBI Code Cracking Challenge: http://www.fbi.gov/page2/nov07/code112107.html

Analysis of Criminal Codes and Ciphers: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/fsc/backissu/jan2000/olson.htm

Spoiler Alert: How to solve the 2008 FBI Crypto challenge

** try to solve this before scrolling down **

Solving FBI 2008 Crypto Challenge

1. An easy giveaway was the 5th line from the crypto picture embedded above

YYY.AHB.MSK/NSCDC.OFZ

substituting www for yyy. Another hint it is likely they were pointing to fbi.gov. So far we have

Y – W

A – F

H – B

B – I

M – G

S – O

K – V

2. Substituting in the word before that URL. For KBVBF, we can deduct it is VISIT

3. Next word to guess is FOBV in the 3rd line. Substituting we can deduct is is THIS

4. Next word is YD on the first line. The only alphabet that made sense there is E. So we have D – E

5. Next, I would try to start solving any 2, 3, 4 alphabet groupings.

Following is a screenshot of my whiteboard. The numbers on the left to each word represented the order in which i tackled the words

My Whiteboard

My Whiteboard

Once you solve and substitute the cipher comes out as

Stupendous. We congratulate you on cracking this latest encryption. Visit www.fbi.gov/coded.htm to let us know of your success.

Visiting the URL above gives us this

Congratulations, you did it! Thanks for participating, and happy holidays.

Congratulations!

Congratulations!


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