Cracking the Code of Cicada 3301

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Published on May 21, 2020 by

In 2012, a secretive group calling itself 3301 began recruiting for “highly intelligent individuals” online. Candidates had to prove their skills in codebreaking, cryptography and computer programming by solving a complex puzzle dubbed Cicada. It required knowledge of steganography, contacts on the ground everywhere from Seoul to Sydney, and the ability to obtain a copy of William Gibson’s famous disappearing poem “Agrippa.” What was the purpose of the puzzle? No one knows, but many set out to solve one of the internet’s greatest mysteries. At the age of 15, Marcus Wanner became one of the few to crack the code. But the Cicada challenge didn’t end there. Suddenly, more mysterious codes appeared—including a 58-page book of runes known as the “Liber Primus.”

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