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The internet is home to many puzzles, pranks, mysteries, and conspiracies, but there is one right now that is capturing the imagination of web surfers more than any other. It’s known as Cicada 3301 and is a Da Vinci Code-like trail of messages and clues hidden within images, web addresses, GPS coordinates, and areas of the web so remote even Google’s search engine can’t find them.
The complexity and difficulty of the puzzles has attracted PhD students, hackers, security experts, and IT professionals from around the world. They gather in chat rooms to exchange clues and theories, but most importantly to try to work out who’s behind them.
In two years of following the cryptic challenges no one has been able to trace the puzzles back to their origin or ...