[ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery


#5461

That’s exactly the kind of information I needed, Flavrans. I’m not the best with the math (I was actually trying to determine how many I would make if I created 21 rows), so thank you for doing it for me. I imagine if we were supposed to create our own grilled pizza, Storm would ensure that it would be padded correctly and actually generate an image of something with probably only one. Besides, we’ve heard from him before that the puzzle is encoded, so it’s probably not going to be something as simple as that. Furthermore, I got a few rows in, and it was all gibberish, so not much luck. Worth a shot, I guess, and at least now we can cross it off the list of maybes.


#5462

I don’t know if anyone else noticed this, but there’s a cypher code in terminal.bmrf.us’ source.

The code reads:

[code]function(val) {
var T3 = val,
key,
I = ‘’,
X = ‘’;
for (var m = 0; m < T3.length; m++) {
if (m % 2 == 0) {
I += T3.charAt(m);
} else {
X = T3.charAt(m) + X;
}
}
T3 = I + X;
var U = T3.split(’’);
for (var m = 0; m < U.length; m++) {
if (!isNaN(U[m])) {
for (var R = m + 1; R < U.length; R++) {
if (!isNaN(U[R])) {
var S = U[m]^U[R];
if (S < 10) {
U[m] = S;
}
m = R;
R = U.length;
}
}
}
}
T3 = U.join(’’);
T3 = window.atob(T3);
T3 = T3.substring(T3.length - (T3.length - 16));
T3 = T3.substring(0, T3.length - 16);
key = T3;
if (key && (key.indexOf(‘http://’) === 0 || key.indexOf(“https://”) === 0)) {
document.write(’<!–’);
window.stop();

		window.onbeforeunload = null;
		window.location = key;
	}
}[/code]I tried the HALOS code in different forms, nothing provided useful info, except the function spat out some gibberish with unicode characters (which I probably read too much into).

(I replaced the unicode characters with their names, but as I said, take this with a mountain of salt, because I’m probably reading too much into it)

Î
–CONTROL SEQUENCE INTRODUCER Ùý
–PRIVACY MESSAGE Û~yÛ
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND Ñý
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND ßo\o¦øiÇ
–SINGLE CHARACTER INTRODUCER Ó~xáï|s
–END OF SELECTED AREA
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR FOUR ïMýsm
–CONTROL SEQUENCE INTRODUCER Ûmu
–DELETE
–END OF SELECTED AREA Üë×[
–DELETE
–SINGLE SHIFT TWO ø÷ÞÞßGt{MÛk
–REVERSE LINE FEED Ýë·ô
–DELETE
–SINGLE SHIFT THREE <×~y÷­=÷ÝÞÛ}
–SUBSTITUTE ßÎ
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR ONE ×Ï_÷¾
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR THREE s__sÍÚÙÝ7×gÝáçº{N\sFûéí[Û_6ÓÍ<sß[ß]
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR THREE ëVûy­9÷]vãM\o
–‘APPLICATION PROGRAM COMMAND’
–‘INFORMATION SEPARATOR TWO’ ëÞ_צýyþµßm
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND ó
–‘END OF GUARDED AREA’ }çßu×¾
–SINGLE CHARACTER INTRODUCER o¾4ën8Ù­uÓ
–‘END OF GUARDED AREA’
–‘ESCAPE’ s~÷ïßwkÍÛïGýÝÍ|ïM;÷MºÑ¾=ëÝ
–‘STRING TERMINATOR’ (U+009C) s®
–‘INFORMATION SEPARATOR TWO’ ó
–‘APPLICATION PROGRAM COMMAND’ wÙî÷q­¸×O
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR ONE ÷n
–CONTROL SEQUENCE INTRODUCER ï
–DELETE tÓmtãͼyß7ëÎtçn
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR ONE Û
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND {ßgZw
–PRIVACY MESSAGE
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR ONE o®¸ã}yß_5sg
–‘APPLICATION PROGRAM COMMAND’ }öûÛO|Ý®ùu½úã
–SINGLE SHIFT THREE =kÆÞo¯[wÍúõÎ6ïwú{]ZÕîx}öºÓ®ômç=áþÝ×_ZïÍ :s
–REVERSE LINE FEED ÷Ùý^ñÎus¦ø
–DELETE
–‘START OF SELECTED AREA’ ßí¯
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR ONE á¶
–PRIVACY MESSAGE ã¦ôiÍ·çv·õî½qÍ:íÎ|áþ
–SINGLE CHARACTER INTRODUCER í­
–‘INFORMATION SEPARATOR TWO’ k¯vÝÍ_íÿtÓ]½ãFÝk§
–SUBSTITUTE ß¿8ç½_ñÎ
–‘INFORMATION SEPARATOR TWO’ wW¸Ý­uã
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND tyÍýï
–DELETE uu·Ûõþ¸
–DELETE ~}kF´óßzéÆô{®
–‘STRING TERMINATOR’ õ®øç
–SINGLE SHIFT TWO ¼ãW=k
–SINGLE SHIFT TWO _qÍ
–OPERATING SYSTEM COMMAND óGßómüÛÍôï^5yÍ
–INFORMATION SEPARATOR THREE o
–‘END OF GUARDED AREA’ <q§¹ÕÝví½ßkÞ
–SINGLE CHARACTER INTRODUCER {
–SINGLE SHIFT THREE {Õ®}q×ùßθu­véÿ7Ýï{
–DELETE Þ¶
–DELETE Þ4çWtáï8s]zï
–REVERSE LINE FEED Ýéæ
–PRIVACY MESSAGE w]ö}Ö
–CONTROL SEQUENCE INTRODUCER Ó
–PRIVACY MESSAGE vÛW¼áÎõs
–DELETE wï­vÓw
–‘APPLICATION PROGRAM COMMAND’ ñ½

However, the most interesting part is that the function is supposed to decypher a given text, and visit it if it’s a website (if the output starts with http:// or https://).


#5463

I’m not seeing that code on terminal.bmrf.us. Some googling reveals https://gist.github.com/lenivene/352f7f0f83e9fe3114d09527a0be707f and https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/38328-adskipper/code. It looks it’s supposed to block adfly urls and must be something you’ve installed in your browser, and the code is injected into the html of any page you visit.


#5464

Ah I see now. Yeah, apologies for the confusion.


#5465

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

I re-read Shadowhand’s analysis of kxbm.net on the Wiki. Lots of scientist quotes from Chapter 1 specifically…
Also the Hammer wireframe of the test chamber itself, showing up near locations all related to the ARG (Surface Tension Dr. Horn’s shack).

I think we need to investigate that chapter for clues.


#5466

So, since Surface Tension Uncut went retail I came across a pinboard texture that I didn’t see anywhere else, yet. Right after the helipad battle there’s a security booth to the left, you can enter it. There’s some magnum ammo and a pinboard. nothing to peculiar, except this paper:

wherease everything else is unreadable, this clearly says “page 428”. Did anyone catch this one, yet? I never saw it anywhere.
What could it refer to? Maybe a forum page on some other forum that may contain a clue that has been overlooked? Or a page of a book? What are your thoughts on this?

EDIT: Following Miles suspicion I went ahead and had a quick look at AM. Mainly because I remembered that one of the first books you can find in the game is a bible, which is also probably to only book in-game that exists in real life. The bible you can find is the “good news bible”:

Apparently this edition does actually exist, but I only found it in an online used books store

In this picture you can read text which cannot be read in the texture, namely “Crusader” on the top and “Looking to Jesus” underneath the coat of arms. The texture on the other hand, contains some more text on the very bottom, which this book does not have. Anyway, I sure like to read page 428 in this bible, but I really don’t know how to get my hand on one of those. Anyone ever saw one of those in real life?


#5467

Had to check out what ARG post #428 had to say.


#5468

It’s been in the game since the 2012 mod release. The texture is found in [tt]materials\models\props_am\post_boardpapers_08.vtf[/tt].

As far as AM goes, there’s at least one direct reference to AM in one of the clues. In Dr. J. Welsh’s diary log note, he writes that he “got a call from Dr Stone over in Sector C”.


#5469

https://videosift.com/video/Cicada-3301-An-Internet-Mystery
for when you tire of pizza


#5470

Any BMS dev please contact me privately, you dont need to respond after I push this up, just need a dev to read it please. Important.


#5471

Is the ARG less of a mystery now, finally?


#5472

Care to share with the class?


#5473

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.


#5474

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:

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:

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:

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.


#5475

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.


#5476

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?


#5477

I think it might be stored in the map file, not sure. But someone could just record a video of it.


#5478

it would be a hud animation triggered by the maps I/O logic you would need to look for it under hud animations files and depending on what they’ve done it likely just in a hud file in plain text just due to it using the same font as ingame


#5479

Personally, I don’t think that would make any sense at all. You’re talking about a suit that would contain the identical information for whoever was to wear it and that the event hasn’t even taken place yet. Why would there be a hidden message for something that hasn’t even happened?

Anyway, to satisfy your curiosity, here’s a video link to it being put on. https://www.videosprout.com/video?id=0f4084f4-4337-4fc8-8d82-993b1548eeef


#5480

The BMRF is a huge complex, with many employees. We know that the Hev suits have gps and many other goodies. So how does one track an individual in the labs, or elsewhere. In the labs there could be an active badge system. With employees badges being picked up by sensors and transmitting that data somewhere. Where would it be sent to? There was an active badge experiment done at Cambridge, what they were shooting for was “sentient computing” a way that you could get in touch with someone if you needed them via a phone system, their position was tracked and when necessary you could dial up an extension, the individuals extension, and it would ring the phone wherever they were at. This could also be disabled if you were on lunch or meetings. We know the employees have badges, we know hev suits can be tracked. Many of the do-hickeys and du-dads in game, flashy lights, many different screens and monitors. Might one of these monitors, systems, or whatever may be found in the part of BMRF that you are in, react to something being brought within its range. What items in game could produce signals that could be picked up? Something small and that transmits, Something with IR possibly. For instance in the portal arg, you could bring radios to different areas to pick up signals. Maybe something like that has not been found, but it works in the opposite way, you bring something within range and something else will activate. Look at how the context of “Halos” has been used over time, theres halos files, halos project, “dont let halos see…” What if halos is a sentient computer used in tracking employees. But not sentient in way of say the terminator or a complex ai, We know that there are different clearance levels for the scientist in the arg. We’ve seen others have to have their eyes scanned for access to areas… eyeballs are something that can be recovered by the way, maybe an eyeball carried to a certain area for a scanner? Or just something else that could be used for tracking. There is a lot of tech in the facility, most of it looks old, but there are parts where some of it looks new, specific monitors and screens. Lets say that the Hex that we have is a log file, that once decoded will show who was where and when. If it is that, what system would be used to monitor badge signals? “they cant hide from me, not now, now that I have this, this holds the key to everything”… " dont let him find us"… What if the “key to all things” was access to an active badge like system that can be used for finding people. Just a thought…