14-year-old boy breaks Australian coin cipher

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L’Directorate of Australian Signals (ASD), Australia’s intelligence service, recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. To celebrate the event, the organization designed a commemorative coin of 50 cents, in a limited edition of 50,000 copies. The piece, which sold for 1er September, there are many messages with four levels of encryption advertised.

The code, written on both sides, is a recruitment techniques for intelligence service. ” We thought it was a fun way to encourage people to crush codes in the hope that if they can clear four levels of coding in the piece, they can apply for a job at the Australian Signals Directorate “, said Rachel Noble, director general of ASD.

A code is solved very quickly

It’s over. When the coins were sold, a 14-year-old boy from Tasmania was able to decipher the message in just an hour. ASD sets up a form for those who can fully interpret the message, and the teenager is the first to submit his answer. Rachel Noble said the agency hopes to meet with him soon to recruit him, but there is a fifth encryption level which the teenager did not discover.

However, some have solved the puzzles long ago. Available online from August 20, the content must be published in a legal text, before the piece can be sold. Others saw it and posted it on forums. However, this is impossible decipher the final code without the hand part (or high definition images).

Solutions to five levels of code

The first code is on the front side, with braille numbers below the text Elizabeth II – Australia. By reading the letters in the order shown, we get the message Atbashthe name of a substitution cipher, where A is replaced by Z, B by Y, and so on.

The tail side has two lines of text around the edge. By applying Atbash to the outer circle, one gets the message ” We are bold in concept and meticulous in execution. Look for a resolution of 7 width x 5 depth or, translated into French, ” We are bold in concept and meticulous in execution. Look for a resolution of 7 width x 5 depth “.

Following the direction of the second part of the post, the next step is to arrange the letters in the inner circle of 7 of 5 grids starting with BGOAMVO, making two grids in total. A vertical reading of the letters thus organized gives ” Belonging to a great team that strives for excellence we make a difference XOR HEX A5D75 “, or in French ” Belonging to a great team striving for excellence, we can make a difference XOR HEX A5D75 “.

The message indicates that the next part uses the Encrypt XOR. It should be applied to the characters in the central part, which are in hexadecimal, by doubling the given key to get A5D75A5D75. This feature can be done on a simple website, such as www.dcode.fr. The resulting text, translated into French, gives “ For 75 years, the Australian Signals Directorate has brought together people with the skills, adaptability and imagination to walk the fine line between the difficult and the impossible.. “.

Finally, the end Encrypt stands out in a difference physical subtle. Some letters in two lines around the edge have a different finish. The outer circle is in the code Walrus and gives” 1947 DSB Albert Park », the year when the agency was established, its first name and the place. The inner circle is binary and gives” ASD CBR 2022 (CBR for Canberra, the current seat of ASD).

If you followed everything, you can now apply to ASD!

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