Saturday, 23 November 2013

Who Is Straka Update

I'm still not sure if the Who Is Straka Website is legitimate, but there are definitely more things to find there.

We had an email from Terrance to say that he and a friend had found some hidden images on the site, Kristin Rix also mentioned this in the comments yesterday, I went back to the site and I couldn't see anything different to what was there previously.

However I persevered and looked at things from a different perspective, that perspective was the Chrome browser. When you look via Internet Explorer you see a PNG file of the S symbol, when you look with Chrome you see a GIF file.

That Gif file is actually an animated one and contains all the images you can see here. 4 Rorschach style ink blots, and the phrases "SEEK SHELTER FROM THE STORM", "SAFETY IN NUMBERS WONT KEEP YOU DRY" AND "6483kHZ".

If you notice the S's in the phrases have what looks like a . under them similar to the Chapter 3 code.



The .GIF file isn't the only difference when viewed in Chrome.

As you can see the source code is different, there is an extra couple of comment lines and the unusual dot pattern after the encrypted lines.

As always if you can make any sense of this please get in touch in the comments, via Twitter or on email.

*** Update 25/11/2013 ***

The source code has changed again, more information has been added -

!-- Please direct all correspondence to whoisstraka@gmail.com --
!-- using secure communications protocols and encryption --
!-- to avoid detection and unwanted surveillance. Unsigned --
!-- messages with no PGP key will have to be ignored. They --
!-- are watching and it is raining. --

49 comments:

  1. I think all the Rorschach test pics were taken from this website

    So I am still struggling to fit this website in with the novel, other than the obvious name connection.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. They're all the original Rorschach blots, which are in the public domain. While its exciting to see a website that looks more like a rabbit hole than any other current contenders, it doesn't have any canon materials pointing to it, and was created after the book was published. I'm not super optimistic about it.

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  2. Numbers station? Abrams used in Fringe and Lost..

    Viewed on YouTube and the message is this:

    NGGBC EBIRL EBIRL BHEAR BHEAR EQVAR EQVAR 00000 00000

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    1. Yeah I saw that from the comments in the first WIS post, still can't tie this into the book or the WIS website, it looks too random to me.

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  3. I uploaded the pgp key into a gnuPG encryption software that I downloaded from that site. It says the key belongs to "VM Straka". If I could figure out how to send an email using the encryption I might get something interesting.

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    1. I downloaded the Mozilla Thunderbird email client and followed the instructions found here. You can configure Thunderbird to work with an existing email address (gmail or whatever). It was pretty straightforward. The entire process including sending the encrypted email took me about an hour.

      I haven't received a response yet.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I will wait to see if you get something. Did you use the encryption key that you can download from the website? Using the same encryption might be important. There's also those strings of text beneath the email address. I have a feeling that decoding those could be an important part of getting a response back.

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    4. Yes, I sent my message using the public key provided, but it is possible that there are further instructions in the coded text.

      The strings of text in the source look like PGP-encrypted text. Not sure how to decrypt a block of text. What I set up appears to only be applicable to emailed messages. PGP Desktop perhaps?

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    5. I've tried all sorts of things to decrypt it. From what I can tell, it's either incomplete or made to *look* like PGP encrypted text when in fact it is something else. The dots to the right of each line make me want to approach it in a different way. So far nothing I've tried has worked :/

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  4. The order of the images might be significant. The "Seek" image comes first, then "safety in numbers", then the number image, and all of them are interspersed with an inkblot image.

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  5. Source code in page has changed again!

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    1. what changed? please document!

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    2. The comment changed to add:

      Unsigned -->



      Which is why I made sure to sign & include my key. Still haven't gotten a response and would now assume I'm missing something. Amanda - was there another change that you saw or was that it?

      'They are watching and it is raining.' Hm...

      Delete
    3. Oops - not sure why my copy/paste didn't work above. The additional comment in the source code reads: "Unsigned messages with no PGP key will have to be ignored. They are watching and it is raining."

      Delete
  6. LOL! What does s(he) want from me?? Encrypted using the public PGP key provided. Check. Included my public key as an attachment. Check. Digitally signed. Check, check, check!!

    Maybe there is a missing step in that coded text string... Gah.

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    1. I feel like we are supposed to figure out what the encoded text string is and email that via the provided public key in order to get the correct response. Also, the dots after the text string in the source code don't seem random to me. There are a certain number of spaces between the periods after each text string. Anyone else feel that way? What do the dots under the Ss mean in the images? Can we clarify the order of images? Each Rorcharc(sp?) blot has a number associated with it (i.e. plate 1, plate 5 etc) which makes me think that's linked to "safety in numbers...." Just brainstorming here....

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    2. Also both the seek and safety images have one S with a dot under it and some without, so the dot seems significant.

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    3. So far as I can tell the lines about signed messages and the weather were the only things which had changed.

      I also (again) emailed with a signed, KMS-public-key encrypted message (included my own public key in the body of the message). I even asked for a hint ;)

      I wonder if Straka checks his spam box, but then with the added message I'm assuming some who have emailed forgot to include their own PGP key, as I had before.

      The whole page is infuriating - I can't work out anything yet except that we need to email him!

      So many elements. We have the hidden messages in the animated gif (which I checked, has no exif messages in addition). The co-ordinates to Tangier. The code at the top of the page (which *looks* like part of a PGP encrypted message - have also tried to decode as SHA1, Base64 and lord knows what else, to no avail). The dots to the side of the code - again, tried to work into the code but there is no symmetry or way of knowing HOW they fit in.

      There's obviously at least one answer hidden in the page, we'll get there eventually. Maybe S will post more hints today..?

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  7. Hi Kristin. The dot under the S is from one of the codes in SoT. Its the Emmersion of S chapter code. You read the letters either side of the dotted S. In this case E&T. and A. So I think the decoded message is ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) ?

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  8. The order the images come up is in the reverse order they're shown above. The correct order is Rorsarch plate numbers 4,1,2 and finally 6

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  9. I've been playing around with an idea. Is it possible that the dots point to certain characters in the coded string? Like if you overlaid the dots on the characters, the characters w/ dots, or the characters on either side of the dots (like the 'S-dot' code) spell out a message? I set up a .psd file in Photoshop and will email it to anyone who wants to mess around with it. I also have layers with the dots (represented by the yellow blocks) flipped vert & horizontally in case the Rorschach blots were a clue to use mirror image. Probably a reach, but who knows?

    [URL=http://s886.photobucket.com/user/TheLadyLobster/media/WiS_sourcecode_zpsf7c835d3.jpg.html][IMG]http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac67/TheLadyLobster/WiS_sourcecode_zpsf7c835d3.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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    1. Oh for goodness sake... I knew I would screw up putting an image in there. Is it not possible to put an image in a comment?
      Here's a link to what I was talking about.

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    2. I tried that too! My problem was not knowing how to line the dots up: there are more characters in the dotted sections than the letters preceding them.

      I've just been researching the theory that the clues indicate a "water" cipher of some sort (getting wet, rain, storms, etc) which brought up "Tap Code", but haven't been able to make that fit with the dots.

      Here's the link in case you're interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tap_code

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    3. Ok so I googled "Tangiers" and "cryptography" and came up with a type of cryptography called a "grille". Tangiers is specifically mentioned in the "single letter grille" section. Here's the wiki page about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grille_(cryptography)

      This seems like something along the lines of what you are doing, Lady Lobster.

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    4. Yep - I saw the Twitter mention of grille cipher (although did not know there was a connection to Tangiers via the Wiki article - nice find!!) and saw that it could possibly be applied there. Well, well, well... I think I'll get back to my fiddling with that.

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    5. There's something in the twitter conversation about pfeifer and sandpiper, and Jen links a photo of a sandpiper looking at its mirror image on a beach. They repeat this whole conversation several times so it seems to be important.

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  10. Just discovered a twitter account for @whoisstraka. The image is the S and the about is www.whoisstraka.com. No followers (except me now) and no following. We will have to keep our eyes on it.

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    1. Two followers now =) Thanks Kristin!

      I swear that account wasn't there yesterday (unless it was hidden). So now there are three "Straka's" on Twitter?

      Added to a list of useful ppl to follow regarding the SoT saga here: https://twitter.com/amandakennedyuk/lists/who-is-straka Some are characters, others are solving the puzzles with us. Let me know if there's anyone else I should add.

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    2. Ooo I was looking through Eric and Jen's conversation from 17 hours ago and they were talking about grill ciphers, which is what I mentioned above that specifically relates to Tangiers! That must be a clue, right?! That's a very useful link!

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  11. Great stuff, in book characters or not this is all interesting.

    I saw the Grille cipher thing as well and wondered if it related to the book rather than the website, so I've been trying to figure out which inserts in the books could be used as a grille.

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  12. These are the combinations I get using the dots as a grille, I haven't used combinations where any dots did not line up with a character, I even mirrored it and got the second three.

    UgeNxQBQTLaNBAyHyL9zo

    rsepEB9dDaNgCU1yLxOoE

    gKgJn9QGqNgB/swLx9zEC

    rkgp+nB9GaB/AUy1HLx9o

    gNNJxq9QTNCAUs1wyx9OE

    sepAEBQdDg/Ys3wHL9OzC

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  13. Just thought I'd add that Tangier was referenced as part of the barrel code, and was also mentioned by Radio Straka. Still can't figure out how it fits though.

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  14. Has anyone used Google Earth to see what is at the co-ordinates? My laptop won't run it (it's too old).

    There used to be a VOA transmitter in Tangier, close to the co-ordinate location from the little data I've been able to discover about it. Which would fit in with the suggestion of short wave radio transmissions. Have also tried listening in to the channel, but it is difficult to do online and don't have a radio capable of receiving such transmissions. I keep thinking back to the Interlude with Agents #9 and #41, wondering if there is a link.

    Still no response from the emails yet, though assume he/she MUST be receiving them. Perhaps we'll get another hint soon.

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  15. I know that the youtube vide for 6483 KHZ has been dismissed as a wagtail. I also realize this site may be unofficial and the entire thing may be a wagtail but I submit this information just in case. Based on the International Code of Signals, NGGBC EBIRL EBIRL BHEAR BHEAR EQVAR EQVAR would yield the following "conversation."

    International Code of Signals
    http://bibliotheque-des-usages.cde-montpellier.com/sites/default/files/usages/catalogue/International_Code_of_signals.pdf
    NG GB CE BI RL EB IR LB HE AR BH EA RE QV AR EQ VAR
    NG You are in a dangerous position

    GB You should stop search and return to base or continue your voyage.

    CE I will attempt to obtain for you the assistance required

    BI I am flying to likely position of vessel in distress.

    RL You should stop your engines immediately

    EB There is a vessel (or aircraft) in distress in lat… long… (or bearing… distance… from me, or Complements Table 3, Chapter 2, Section 10, Page 104).

    IR I am engaged in submarine survey work (underwater operations). Keep clear of me and go
    slow.

    LB You should make towing hawser fast to your chain cable.

    HE there is no code listed for this

    AR there is no code for this

    BH I sighted an aircraft at time indicated in lat… long… flying on course…

    EA Have you sighted or heard of the vessel in distress? (Approximate position)

    RE You should change your anchorage/berth. It is not safe.

    QV I am anchoring in position indicated.

    AR No code for this

    EQ I expect to be at the position of vessel/aircraft in distress at time indicated.

    VAR no code for VA or AR.

    I know even if this is correct, it doesn't help in the encryption but perhaps it is part of the story.

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    1. Thanks for posting anyway, you never know when it might come in useful :-)

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  16. Hi guys! New here, so I've been pouring through the website for the last 24 hours. Lady Lobster, in the link you posted, the highlighted spaces are all letters, except for 1 and 9. I thought this could be important, seeing as how 19 is an important number.

    Also, the coordinates point to the intersection of Belgique Avenue and De Fess Avenue in Tangier. I don't know if this matters though.

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  17. Hi everyone!
    I've been playing around with the encrypted text found in the source code and had some ideas. I was looking at types of text encryption and came across this one:

    Tiny Encryption Algorithm

    This reminded me of the ETA letters encoded in the gif image. What if the ETA is actually a clue pointing to the TEA encryption method? If so, then all we need is the right password to decode it. I've been playing around with everything I can think of (tangier, straka, 4126, 6483khz, etc...) but so far nothing has worked.

    Maybe someone else can think of something I haven't?

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  18. Did you try the message from the You Tube video? It's in Amanda Kennedy's comment above as:

    Amanda Kennedy23 November 2013 03:34
    Numbers station? Abrams used in Fringe and Lost..

    Viewed on YouTube and the message is this:

    NGGBC EBIRL EBIRL BHEAR BHEAR EQVAR EQVAR 00000 00000

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    1. If you take out the duplicate blocks of letters (and ditch the zeroes) and shift the letters 13 places you get
      ATTOPROVEYOURNERDINE

      I realize its not quite in plaintext, but it sure looks like its trying to say: to prove your nerdiness
      Which would make it a distraction and a joke.

      Not sure if this discounts the WhoIsStraka Website or just that specific youtube video with hopefully no real ties to the website despite the frequency.

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  19. Hi All!

    I've been compiling my findings and since this has become the de facto meeting place for whoisstraka.com findings, I figured I'd post a link here :)

    http://blog.jordanbyron.com/post/72553940130/6483-khz

    Essentially, I'm trying to coordinate our efforts via a mailing list + IRC so we can all be on the same page. I also think a well organized wiki page would be extremely helpful so we can keep track of what's been investigated and what we know for sure. If the mailing list thing doesn't gain traction I'll keep posting my updates to this thread. Thanks!

    ---

    PS @Debbie I tried using the Number Station code as a key to decrypt the text in the source code, both with @Christopher's TEA encryption and AES ... No luck :(

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    1. Worth a shot anyway! Thanks for checking it out!

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  20. Not sure how this fits, but in the "Seek shelter from the storm" and Safety in numbers won't keep you dry", the "F"s are a little lower, and the "M"s a litter higher.

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    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad

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  21. Or could there be a clue in Chapter 6?

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    1. I forgot to type because a the link to Tangiers http://osfourscage.blogspot.com/2014/03/osfours-city-part-ii.html

      Could there be a clue in Chapter 6 to help decipher the number station?

      Delete
  22. The second inkblot image is actually also featured in the introduction of Fallout: New Vegas, and is often jokingly referred to by fans as "two bears high-fiving." I doubt it has any real meaning or connection, but I just noticed it and thought it was kind of odd that they both used the same Rorschach test image and thought I'd mention it.

    ReplyDelete

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