Spycraft? Cryptography In 140 Characters Or Less

Spycraft? Cryptography In 140 Characters Or Less

undeadNow that everyone’s heard of Cicada 3301, the cachet of mystery surrounding that endeavor is lost to the plebs. Everyone with a fedora and the ability to mod /r/atheism is waiting for January 4th to roll around for their shot at engage the hidden masters lurking amidst the Himalayas drinking vril from hidden springs.

All is not lost, a strange Twitter account is gaining notice on the internet. At least on the *chans.

undeadNot much has been written about this feed, considering there are only 51 followers. At the very least, it could be an in-joke among the followers. For the past 115 days, plus June 22nd, 2011, someone or something’s been posting (on average) 6 strings of 40 random numbers to the feed.

What I’ve found so far is whoever is behind @undead might be a ‘phonetographer’. The user is mentioned in a tweet by @RebelsUnitedWW on November 4th, getting recognition for a photo called Day 3: Awakening. @Undead’s feed doesn’t feature any media besides the sets of numbers. Searching for further mentions is futile, since Google returns every Twitter account with the word ‘undead’ in its name. A search on Twitter for @undead shows a handful of people attempting to interact with the feed. Earlier mentions appear to be folks not knowing how to hashtag, using the at symbol instead of an octothorpe. Speculation abounds about the numbers. It might be a substitution code, location coordinates, ballistic trajectories, music, or a failed attempt at viral marketing.


Feeds like these aren’t entirely new. For a while, spambots were tweeting “Iowa City schools ask for an audit”. On the side of viral marketing, @googuns_staging has posted nearly 400k tweets with a 16 character code. Supposedly there was an app called GooGuns on iTunes but no longer.

What do you make of @undead? Sound off on our Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.


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