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PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7




Here is a wiki that can probably explain everything better than me: http://otp22.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

We're #OTP22 on Freenode. We've moved*. We're #ARG on Freenode.

Basically our friends over at eBaum's world started a thread about "Weird phone numbers". What they hoped to get, I don't know, but someone posted a number that answered asking for an agent number and password. After a bunch of random attempts, we got in, and the device on the other end of the line started reading back two digit numbers. Eventually the decoded messages provided GPS coordinates of things like "TROOP," "AGENT," "SUPPLY," "SHIP," and "AIRCFT. They continue to update these coordinates.

The "Agent System", the phone system giving out the numbers, eventually told of two bogeys intercepting something called "MELTER3". Another message talked about inspecting the damage, fire, and then the GPS coordinated for MELTER3 were no longer updated.

Spooky, but things get weirder. Eventually the Agent System gave out coordinates and instructions for a dead drop. The first took place in Oregon and a faithful netizen was able to pick it up. It was stored in a library in a book about the First Ladies of the United States. It was on page 271 or 272.

The other drop took place in a small town in Maine, apparently in a phone booth, so an Internet user on our IRC channel called the business next door (Sara Sara's) to ask that the owner there pick up the package at the phone booth. This person denied to help us, so we called a librarian nearby and she obliged. Weird coincidence, the next day a car hit SaraSara's, the business next to the phone booth, then smashed right through the phone booth and then into a tree. Sara Sara's was knocked off it's foundation is is irreparable. The phone booth is in smithereens.

Here's an article and some pictures.


Sara Sara's and the phone booth drop point before.


(Area of phone booth after it was removed. EDIT: Actually, you can still see the phonebooth, it's the black thing about mid frame, lying flat on the grass.)

The CD-R's that we recovered contained text files and one 500MB.bin. The text files have helped us decode the Agent System messages. The .bin is suspected of being a TrueCrypt file that we are feebly trying to crack. There are copies of the CD's files on the wiki. You can also try guess the password through This web-app.

You'll find links to the IRC and the ARG forum thread that was made in the Wiki posted above. You can also hear all the recorded telephone messages we've collected. Here's one example.

Thanks to anyone who offers help or ideas.

*Due to some inappropriate behaviour by the mods, we've changed to a new channel.

PleasureKevin fucked around with this message at Oct 1, 2012 around 04:31

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Click Beelay
Oct 13, 2011



You just pissed off some low-budget cartel somewhere.

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

Somethingawful/4chan is my OTP

Wiki says it was 4chan, OP says it was ebaum's world I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE

Davincie
Jul 7, 2008

The last thing Killstealing sees before his mustache ride.

~*~Straight Balling~*~


Spies don't use poo poo like this, its way too much effort for something that can be done safer and easier. Besides one of the few countries that still loves HUMINT and has the resources to do something so ridiculously complicated wouldn't call out their own ships on a public phone number. It makes no sense, even if they wouldn't want to sow disinformation there are way better games. Its either an ARG or some idiots having fun.

CloFan
Nov 5, 2004

Khaleesi..


PleasureKevin posted:

Eventually the decoded messages provided GPS coordinates of things like "TROOP," "AGENT," "SUPPLY," "SHIP," and "AIRCFT.

I don't think I understand this sentence. I know you just copied from the wiki, but how does a GPS coordinate point to a word?

LobsterTick
Jul 11, 2011

"We did something this year that was not based on animosity."

CloFan posted:

I don't think I understand this sentence. I know you just copied from the wiki, but how does a GPS coordinate point to a word?

Looking at the wiki, I think that the messages provided both names and coordinates.

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


CloFan posted:

I don't think I understand this sentence. I know you just copied from the wiki, but how does a GPS coordinate point to a word?

I didn't decode them myself, but basically they included the words like "MELTER3" then it's coordinates, then a strange countdown clock, which stopped after then apparent attack. Then the next message would have another craft, and it's position. On the wiki, all the information gathered is added on a Google Map. It's a little hard to comprehend, because you have to click each marker to see the time it was reported at that location, but yeah.

LobsterTick
Jul 11, 2011

"We did something this year that was not based on animosity."

This "web-app" screams ARG to me. Also, I tried "Putin" and "vodka".

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


LobsterTick posted:

This "web-app" screams ARG to me. Also, I tried "Putin" and "vodka".

The web app is made by those people that discovered the Agent System phone number, the people who retrieved the CD's, the people on the receiving end of this "game". They made a script that would let anyone test a password on the bin file online. It's not part of "The Agency" as some people are calling it. Note the domain is OPT22.com, which is the domain we registered for the wiki, not "them".

And thank you for trying.

PleasureKevin fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2012 around 12:38

LobsterTick
Jul 11, 2011

"We did something this year that was not based on animosity."

PleasureKevin posted:

They made a script that would let anyone test a password on the bin file online.

That's exacty what I'm talking about. I highly doubt that a 500mb file can be decrypted in realtime mode using a web-app.

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


LobsterTick posted:

That's exacty what I'm talking about. I highly doubt that a 500mb file can be decrypted in realtime mode using a web-app.

I don't think it takes very long to try out a password on a truecrypt file, having used it in the past. I should mention one acquired CD included a copy of TrueCrypt 5.1a, so we're pretty sure it's true crypt.

Abandon All Hope
Apr 6, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


PleasureKevin posted:

I don't think it takes very long to try out a password on a truecrypt file, having used it in the past. I should mention one acquired CD included a copy of TrueCrypt 5.1a, so we're pretty sure it's true crypt.

Would love to find the program that instantaneously brute forces truecrypt passwords.

This requires a lot of processing power.

Also agents like this would carry around a CD-R why? Is this 1999? Bitlocked thumb drives aren't as ARG-worthy though I guess.

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

Abandon All Hope posted:

Would love to find the program that instantaneously brute forces truecrypt passwords.

This requires a lot of processing power.

Also agents like this would carry around a CD-R why? Is this 1999? Bitlocked thumb drives aren't as ARG-worthy though I guess.
It isn't a program for instantaneously brute-forcing truecrypt passwords, it's a website for entering in a guess and getting back a "yes/no" answer within a few seconds.

Brute-forcing takes a long time because of the amount of potential permutations. An 8 digit alphanumeric password has about 2*10^15 possible combinations, so even if it takes only a second to check each combination then you're looking at about a 6 million year runtime. A program that checks to see if "Vodka" produces meaningful data is a somewhat less challenging task.

(It's definitely an ARG but that website is probably user-created)

never trust an elf
Aug 30, 2005



Are you implying that the car ramming the phone booth and business is somehow related to the ARG?

Max Zorin
Mar 30, 2010


I absolutely love this kind of poo poo so I am just going to suspend my disbelief and force myself to accept that it is f'reals.

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

IHatePugs posted:

Are you implying that the car ramming the phone booth and business is somehow related to the ARG?
I'm going to go with either "bizarre coincidence" or "ARG run by really devoted psychopaths". To be fair, "ARG run by really devoted psychopaths" is pretty drat good all on its own.

never trust an elf
Aug 30, 2005



Splicer posted:

I'm going to go with either "bizarre coincidence" or "ARG run by really devoted psychopaths". To be fair, "ARG run by really devoted psychopaths" is pretty drat good all on its own.

Or it's an ARG for Sara Sara's dress boutique. I hope it's this.

nimby
Nov 4, 2009

The pinnacle of cloud computing.

Calling it now, the CDs contain Romney's tax returns.

chemosh6969
Jul 3, 2004
Walker...is a dangerous man..! Lee Marvin IS Walker, in Point Blank!


Max Zorin posted:

I absolutely love this kind of poo poo so I am just going to suspend my disbelief and force myself to accept that it is f'reals.

I hate ARGs but I've been doing everything I can to find some timeline that shows the second dead drop stuff to have been setup after the crash. It might just be a crazy coincidence.

I imagine car crash lady had a bunch of people sending her messages on facebook, asking her stuff, and I almost expected her to make her profile private over the annoyance but she hasn't.

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


chemosh6969 posted:

I hate ARGs but I've been doing everything I can to find some timeline that shows the second dead drop stuff to have been setup after the crash. It might just be a crazy coincidence.

I imagine car crash lady had a bunch of people sending her messages on facebook, asking her stuff, and I almost expected her to make her profile private over the annoyance but she hasn't.

I only picked up on this stuff yesterday but was completely engrossed. It could be that the timeline is fictionalized, but it seems to me a lot of people "witnessed" the events in this order over about a week so far.

As for Facebook harassment, the mystery hasn't quite grown to that level yet, but since it's from eBaum's world, there have been trolls and that kind of harassment might happen.

Or maybe Sally Fischel is an agent, trying to send a message by destroying the drop zone. Sally Fischel sounds like S'all Official! I want to believe.

Bea Nanner
Oct 20, 2003

Je suis excité!


PleasureKevin posted:

I don't think it takes very long to try out a password on a truecrypt file, having used it in the past. I should mention one acquired CD included a copy of TrueCrypt 5.1a, so we're pretty sure it's true crypt.

I doubt many governments use open source encryption software. Definitely an ARG.

picosecond
Dec 9, 2006

one millionth of one millionth of a second

Shouldn't it be easy to find the person or business that phone number is registered to? Then just backtrack it from there?

The fact that no one seems to mention doing this on the wiki makes me think it's an ARG. I kind of want to think there's something to it, though. The Internet working together to uncover a spy ring would be a fun story to follow.

EDIT:

Bea Nanner posted:

I doubt many governments use open source encryption software. Definitely an ARG.

I worked in a DoD office used a highly customized and tweaked version of it. I'm told the NSA uses it as well.

picosecond fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2012 around 21:01

Bea Nanner
Oct 20, 2003

Je suis excité!


picosecond posted:

I worked in a DoD office used a highly customized and tweaked version of it. I'm told the NSA uses it as well.

That's my point. They will use a specialized version that cost the taxpayer millions in either development bloat or off the shelf licensing. Not TrueCrypt5.1a.exe

Bea Nanner fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2012 around 21:12

Blast of Confetti
Apr 21, 2008
I'm a cunt who thinks children committing suicide is funny. I'm a cunt. I'm a cunt. I'm a cunt.

Good job internet, you ruined someone's scavenger hunt and now Sara lost her business because the guy in charge of it is really mad!

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


picosecond posted:

Shouldn't it be easy to find the person or business that phone number is registered to? Then just backtrack it from there?

The fact that no one seems to mention doing this on the wiki makes me think it's an ARG. I kind of want to think there's something to it, though. The Internet working together to uncover a spy ring would be a fun story to follow.

Most people think it's an ARG. I'm kind of open to the idea that someone is trying to leak us information, or that we've intercepted some covert government/NGO material. Just leaving that possibility open, at least to make it funner/spookier. I've also been monitoring the news for any attack on a ship in the arctic, but haven't heard anything, so that points to an ARG as well. Not much point wasting time debating about it.

Anyway, you are free to try see who the phone numbers are registered to. Please, and add it to the wiki or share on IRC. There are only so many of us trying so many angles.

VikingSkull
Jul 23, 2008

A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.

Yeah, this is definitely an ARG. HUMINT stuff is so far beyond this kind of thing, it's ridiculous. If something was important and was left in a dead drop, there probably would have been someone else watching the dead drop itself to make sure the message was delivered and not, you know, picked up by the internet.

Or they would have used encrypted channels on the internet itself.

Inzombiac
Mar 19, 2007
I need sleep more than braaaaaaains...

As an Agent code I tried 1337# (Because I am lame) and got "Gateway One is now active" and then some other voice saying something in Arabic (?), then began double-ringing for a bit but didn't go anywhere.

Edit:
Started to get the numbers list. Anyone want them transcribed?

edit 2: Screw that. The list doesn't seem to end.

Inzombiac fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2012 around 21:39

Winkle-Daddy
Mar 10, 2007


Sure, why not? I've got a giant wordlist. I grabbed the .bin file.

Revitalized
Sep 13, 2007

A free custom title is a free custom title

I want to know how the hell people make awesome ARGs like this.

picosecond
Dec 9, 2006

one millionth of one millionth of a second

Reading these last posts gave me a thought: He's right that governments have resources that make this way of doing things unnecessary for intelligence work. So, who doesn't?

Who'd still have the need to share information as discreetly as possible? As untraceably as possible? And would need to keep tabs on ships while doing it?

Crime rings. International smuggling rings, specifically. But why would they sink or disable their own ship? They wouldn't. So it wasn't their own ship -- it was a competitor's ship that they were watching, until they saw a chance to take it out.

A criminal intelligence ring, spying on their competition? Or brokering information to cartels about their competitors, maybe? Weirder things have happened.

I still think it's an ARG but wouldn't it be cool if it was this instead?

Winkle-Daddy
Mar 10, 2007


Anyone get TrueCrack running on Max OS 10.7.4? I'm getting:

code:
./Common/Endian.h:71:5: error: #error Byte order cannot be determined (BYTE_ORDER undefined)
when

code:
$ make GPU=FALSE
I'm guessing a deprecated library on 10.7 like most compilation failures?

edit: eh, I'm leaving work soon. I'll just install it on my linux box at home.

edit 2: People should join the IRC, OP you should put the IRC info in the OP. I'll be on there later as w-d-sa

http://webchat.freenode.net/

Join #OTP22

Winkle-Daddy fucked around with this message at Sep 28, 2012 around 22:14

WMain00
Oct 7, 2008

You can't cut back posting! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!


Sounds like a really fun ARG. I love things like these. All mystery and problem solving.

I'll try it myself if I can, though im not sure if it will work for me since I'm in the uk.

Kasan
Dec 24, 2006
im in ur SA, readin ur forums

PleasureKevin posted:

...I'm kind of open to the idea that someone is trying to leak us information...

I have some swampland in Arizona you might be interested in.

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm beautiful.

I really like the idea that it's an ARG for the position of the Borealis.

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


Ularg posted:

I really like the idea that it's an ARG for the position of the Borealis.

In the stuff we've intercepted, there's been messages about "re-entry" and whatnot, suggesting space flight. I guess there's been no space flight in the Half Life universe, except I guess the end of Portal 2.

Also, there is chatter of "melting" something, presumably the ice, perhaps to unfreeze the area around the Borealis?

It's could be anything at this point, we don't have enough information, but the IRC is pretty a buzz right now, I can't really keep up and edit the wiki at the same time. The last message we just got was COR V 11738 GA (although the numbers were spelled out).

Still need more experienced hands.

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm beautiful.

PleasureKevin posted:

In the stuff we've intercepted, there's been messages about "re-entry" and whatnot, suggesting space flight. I guess there's been no space flight in the Half Life universe, except I guess the end of Portal 2.

Also, there is chatter of "melting" something, presumably the ice, perhaps to unfreeze the area around the Borealis?

It's could be anything at this point, we don't have enough information, but the IRC is pretty a buzz right now, I can't really keep up and edit the wiki at the same time. The last message we just got was COR V 11738 GA (although the numbers were spelled out).

Still need more experienced hands.

Half life 1 you launched a satellite for the Lambda team.

PleasureKevin
Jan 2, 2011

rip steve jobs
iOS 1 - iOS 7


Ularg posted:

Half life 1 you launched a satellite for the Lambda team.

poo poo, in Episode 2 as well. Shamefully never played all of #1.

kicktd
Jul 6, 2007

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.


Working on decoding one of the agent transmissions thing.

So far have
code:
.7/52 205 NOWAT 03:02\SHIP MELTER21TS 80.9561 -129.7669 207 NOWAT 03:02\SHIP MELTER22TS 81.2316 -138.9039 206 NOWAT
Hmm wonder what this will all be about, either way it's something to do to kill time.

EDIT: The "coordinates" seem messed up. If you input them the way they are translated into Google maps it will send you to the extreme north out of the map, but if you move the - to be in front of the 8X. number it lands you in Antarctica.

EDIT 2: NOW the ships names are meaning something: MELTER and them "landing" or what have you in Antarctica.

kicktd fucked around with this message at Sep 29, 2012 around 04:03

Banana dose
Dec 25, 2010


I managed to find a working agent number (by a total fluke, I might add). The more I think about it, the more this feels like a Half-Life/Portal ARG. I mean, Blue Hill = Black Mesa? Also, seems like some of the residents of the town are just too perfect for this sort of thing.

The prominent residents of Blue Hill. I mean, one of them is an MIT mathematician and pioneer of AI, while another is a philosopher of cognitive science. Oh, and don't forget the one that's president and chairman of Standard Oil.

Oh, and if you call any of the phone numbers, you get the message "Code Orange, Code Orange. Situation Lambda." Which sounds exactly like the Half-Life logo.

But hell, maybe this is all real and we're heading for a long, cold, nuclear winter.

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Deep Space Hitler
Apr 21, 2011



Banana dose posted:

"Code Orange, Code Orange. Situation Lambda."

What?? Gabe.... what have you done.... I'm literally crying right now. I new half life 3's release would be ground breaking, even earth shattering, but didnt think gabe would go as far as to buy a whole town as part of the hype?

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