Pinned [ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery

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    • Wow, I haven't been here in a while. When this first started I was in middle school, and now I'm about to head to university.

      Anyways, GunsRequiem's thing about homophonic encryption tickled something in me about brute force, but some quick googling reveals that there would be 280 choose 255 or 3.2*10^35, or 320 trillion trillion trillion possible combinations. So never mind.

      Storm did say the CIA couldn't brute force it, so hey, we might be on the right track.

      EDIT: For anyone who wants to putter around with this homophonic encryption thing, I slapped together a little webpage to mess with it. It's here. I've tried fiddling with congratulationsyouwonthePIZZA and BENALOHPAILLIER as the starting phrase but I haven't got anything productive out of it. You guys have been paying attention more than I have so maybe you'll have better luck.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by MadDoctor ().

    • So, I have spent far too much time on this these last few days. (also sorry about the double post, but it felt even weirder to edit my previous post a dozen times)

      These last few days I have tried some computer analysis on the HALOS file. I wrote a program that will attempt to brute force a homophonic cipher key based on distributions of letters in English, but it simply can't make any progress. There are too many unique symbols and too little cipher text. I've read of a more advanced algorithm here, but, even they failed to accurately decrypt similar length ciphertexts, and only with 100 unique symbols. In addition, without a solid key, I suspect the message could be made to say anything if you were creative.

      So back to the drawing board. As I've mentioned many times before, the grilledpizza image has been bothering me. It has to be for something, right? There's a cryptographic concept known as a grille, where you basically put a piece of paper with holes in it over your ciphertext and you can read the plaintext through the holes. The grilledpizza image has black and white sections, either of which could be holes, so I considered trying to line it up with the HALOS file somehow and pulling a limited section of the bytes out for further analysis. Unfortunately, after some Google calculator work, no configuration of that image matches the length of the file no matter how you slice it.

      EDIT: Something that just flashed into my head supporting the "more to the grilledpizza theory": The clue 21 into 1 has been pretty useless, because it never seems to come up. You count and you multiply by some factors and it never seems to match anything we have. However, no one said 21 was in decimal. 21 in hex converted to decimal is 33. There are 33 triangles in the first row of the grilledpizza image. I am convinced that image is the key to solving the text file if we can just combine them somehow.

      Of course, the message it was sent in ended in [ABORTIVE], so far all we know the HALOS file is cut off from the original and the lengths don't have to match.

      EDIT: I didn't realize that in the original IRC clue, the coordinates were already spelt out in a way that didn't match the way I did it. When you put them in as they originally appear, the lengths no longer match. The following is probably invalid then.

      Finally, I explored one more thing. If we turn back the time machine for a bit we go back to the very first IRC clue:


      The cruel god that is Stormseeker wrote:

      N38°57'8.05" W77°8'44.82".Solution two ignore loc data N32°52'50.77" W106°20'49.40" not buried at initial loc, fly here.Travel 14.16 miles east we transferred the niobium there.Await further instructions.

      Now the first coordinate refers to the much discussed Kryptos statue at CIA headquarters. With that in mind, we can unpack the next line. There are four ciphers on the statue, three of which are solved. We have the second one, which is:

      Kryptos Cipher 2 wrote:

      IT WAS TOTALLY INVISIBLE HOWS THAT POSSIBLE ? THEY USED THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD X THE INFORMATION WAS GATHERED AND TRANSMITTED UNDERGRUUND TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION X DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS ? THEY SHOULD ITS BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION ? ONLY WW THIS WAS HIS LAST MESSAGE X THIRTY EIGHT DEGREES FIFTY SEVEN MINUTES SIX POINT FIVE SECONDS NORTH SEVENTY SEVEN DEGREES EIGHT MINUTES FORTY FOUR SECONDS WEST X LAYER TWO

      The part that's important is the coordinates that show up. Could this be the loc[ation] data that we are told to ignore? So I cut that last part off, and I put in the coordinates given in the clue instead:

      Modified Kryptos Cipher 2 wrote:

      IT WAS TOTALLY INVISIBLE HOWS THAT POSSIBLE? THEY USED THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD X THE INFORMATIONW AS GATHERED AND TRANSMITTED UNDERGRUUND TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION X DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS? THEY SHOULD ITS BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION? ONLY WW THIS WAS HIS LAST MESSAGE X THIRTY TWO DEGREES FIFTY TWO MINUTES FIFTY POINT SEVENTY SEVEN SECONDS NORTH ONE O SIX DEGREES TWENTY MINUTES FORTY NINE POINT FORTY SECONDS WEST

      When you remove the spaces, this text is exactly 376 characters long, same as our HALOS file. So I tried to combine it and see what we get.

      Unfortunately I got nothing obviously useful after combining with XOR and modular addition. (though all I did was check byte frequencies so who knows)

      Hopefully this shakes something loose in someone else's mind so we can finally solve this.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by MadDoctor ().

    • New

      I've spent some time creating a Python script that will generate a grilledpizza image out of any data you give it.

      It's here, just hit save and run it with Python. If you run it with no arguments it'll spit out some help text telling you what it needs. You will need to have PyCairo installed. This is more work than it should be, so if you run into issues, PM me and I'll try and help you. Alternately, just send me data and I'll whip you up an image when I can get to it.

      I already ran the hex code into it and got the attached image. Not much, but if you see the ancient runes of Al-Gorro in there or something, please shout it out.
      Files
      • pizza.jpg

        (393.81 kB, downloaded 18 times, last: )
    • New

      Miles07 wrote:

      ...Something tells me we're being pointed to the Anomalous Materials chapter.

      [...]

      I think we need to investigate that chapter for clues.
      When the HEV is obtained, a bunch of things show up on the screen... including some directories on the side, presumably the loading of files withing the HEV's OS. But ... I honestly wonder if there isn't a clue in those file names. Anybody know where one can find those text blurbs in the game's assets?