US Cyber Command logo contains coded message

Jul 08, 2010
This US Department of Defense (DoD) image shows the logo for the The US Cyber Command. 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a. That's not garble, it's the coded message inscribed in the logo of the newly created US Cyber Command.

9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a. That's not garble, it's the coded message inscribed in the logo of the newly created US Cyber Command.

Is it cool, or is it nerdy? You decide.

The Pentagon's new U.S. Cyber Command has embedded a 32-character string of secret code in its logo, causing a stir among bloggers and curious techies eager to decipher the veiled message.

The new military command was launched in late May to help centralize Defense Department efforts to protect its computer networks, which are under constant threat from attackers. The command was created to frustrate everyone from run-of-the-mill hackers to foreign governments looking to steal sensitive information or crash critical, life-sustaining computer systems.

A Cyber Command spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Steve Curry, said Thursday that including 32 letters and numbers in the organization's official seal was the idea of a female contractor who designed the logo. Otherwise, the command's symbol looks like a lot of other government and military seals, depicting an American eagle, stars and the globe.

Wired.com's Danger Room last week offered a T-shirt or ticket to the International Spy Museum to the first person to crack the code, which is: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a.

Spoiler Alert!

Curry said the characters, once decoded, represent the command's bureaucratic-sounding mission statement:

"USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."

Now, go decipher that.

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User comments : 22

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Corban
5 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2010
It's an MD5 hash of their mission statement.
MadLintElf
not rated yet Jul 08, 2010
28a8e0aa9a4afcc9897a630ad9adc1d2
yyz
5 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2010
This is red meat for conspiracy theorists and 'code' breakers. Even after Cyber Command reveals its' meaning, a certain segment of the population will still insist it's a lie (...and here's how I know...). A challenge none the less for serious cryptologists (amateur and pro).
Kedas
5 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2010
keeping an obvious mystery in a logo only has one purpose: getting publicity.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (6) Jul 08, 2010
Corban is right. If you have a linux machine, you can prove it by opening the terminal and typing:

"echo -n "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." | openssl dgst -md5 -hex ;echo"

it will output 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (4) Jul 08, 2010
it may be a little about publicity, but really it is a decently clever way to put their mission statement on the logo, while also being supremely geeky -- which they are, i mean they are military hackers. Makes sense to me.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (3) Jul 08, 2010
also, you can go to http://www.miracl.../md5.php
and input the mission statement and receive back 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a if you dont have a linux computer.
El_Nose
not rated yet Jul 08, 2010
@fmfbrestel

just to be pendantic - that last echo after the pipe openssl is unnecessary. the semicolon stops the phrase to the shell and the last echo simple outputs a blank line.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Jul 08, 2010
lol, well noted El Nose.
Tesla2
3 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2010
So, they have tied the design of their new logo to an old, broken hash function? Thereby ensuring that neither can change without the other changing? I guarantee this decision was made by some higher-up who hasn't done real work since the mid 90s.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (1) Jul 08, 2010
why would they need to change the logo? They already dont use md5 for hardly anything. They used md5 because SHA-512 is too long to fit nicely.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2010
also, you can go to http://www.miracl.../md5.php
and input the mission statement and receive back 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a if you dont have a linux computer.
Or you can use Open SSL for windows. It's MD5, there's a million ways to decode it.

Pretty nifty spot of humor from a Government Agency though.
barkster
not rated yet Jul 09, 2010
@Tesla2
So, they have tied the design of their new logo to an old, broken hash function? Thereby ensuring that neither can change without the other changing?

The logo won't change, but the mission statement will with just about every new commander and/or White House administration. Wait t'ill all this trivial interest dies down, then watch to see if the hash changes. Mwa-ha-haaaa!!
Husky
not rated yet Jul 09, 2010
"to surf the internet and protect"
CyberRat
not rated yet Jul 09, 2010
Oh wow, an MD5 checksum, those coverment computer guys are real nerdy.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 09, 2010
Oh wow, an MD5 checksum, those coverment computer guys are real nerdy.

If you venture outside of this website there are very few people you'll encounter in general who would know what that string of numbers and leeters were when presented with them.
MorituriMax
not rated yet Jul 09, 2010
I don't see the code in the image above. I really hate it when they make a big hype about something here and then don't even include the right images to back up their headline.
SMMAssociates
1 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2010
Give who's at the top these days, it should be:

"To keep the plebes from using the Internet"....

One of the latest bits from Zero is a request to have the authority to shut the web down. Wonder why?

Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Jul 10, 2010
Give who's at the top these days, it should be:

"To keep the plebes from using the Internet"....

One of the latest bits from Zero is a request to have the authority to shut the web down. Wonder why?


The Net Neutrality act specifically makes provisions to force high speed internet carriers to offer service for a uniform rate country wide including rural areas which the HSI carriers have entirely ignored. As for shutting down the internet, I'd rather see them shut down the external network links temporarily than lose the entire thing to cache poisoning from a cyber attack.
Shootist
1 / 5 (3) Jul 10, 2010
Time to elect a Congress and President who will ensure the permanent death of such an entity.
FenderFennec
not rated yet Jul 10, 2010
It says, "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."
ODesign
not rated yet Jul 11, 2010
it's also their public key encryption code if anybody wants to send them a message privately. Very convenient for use by informants and whistleblowers.

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