"Lost" Puzzle in Wired Magazine

    Date20 May 2009
    CategoryCryptography
    6269
    Posted ByDave Wreski
    Bruce Schneier has details on the puzzle he created for Wired. Read on to see the puzzle and try and solve it!

    For the April 09 issue Wired Magazine, I was asked to create a cryptographic puzzle based on the television show Lost. Specifically, I was given a "clue" to encrypt.

    Here are details of the puzzle and solving attempts. Near as I can tell, no one has published a solution.

    Creating something like this is very hard. The puzzle needs to be hard enough so that people don't figure it out immediately, and easy enough so that people eventually figure it out. To make matters even more complicated, people will share their ideas on the Internet. So if the solution requires -- and I'm making this up -- expertise in Mayan history, carburetor design, algebraic topology, and Russian folk dancing, those people are likely to come together on the Internet. The puzzle has to be challenging for the group mind; not just for individual minds.

    Do I need to give people a hint?

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