What is Kryptos@Home?

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Kryptos@Home

Project Overview

Kryptos@Home is a volunteer computing project which allows anyone on the internet to contribute computing resources to research projects, related to solving one of the most famous, unsolved puzzles - the three-decade old Kryptos!

More precisely, it is a sculpture located on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia - at the main entrance to New Headquarters Building (NHB) and in the courtyard between NHB and the Original Headquarters Building (OHB) cafeteria - completed by the American artist James Sanborn, on November 3, 1990.

The Kryptos sculpture comprises four large copper plates, a large vertical S-shaped copper screen resembling a scroll of four encrypted messages, three of which (referred to as K1, K2 and K3) have been solved.

As a community, Kryptos@Home's mission is to crack the elusive K4.

Research & Applications

We maintain an up-to-date list of currently available applications, and research directions, on the dedicated section of our web site.

Kryptos Puzzle

Other interesting facts

  • The name Kryptos comes from the ancient Greek word for "hidden", and the theme of the sculpture is "Intelligence Gathering".
  • The design and installation cost of the sculpture was $250,000 (in 1988 US dollars; the 2020 equivalent is $556,702.77).
  • The sculpture was a commissioned work of art, as a dedication to the NHB, which was completed in March 1991.
  • Mr. Sanborn chose polished red granite, quartz, copperplate, lodestone, and petrified wood.
  • Mr. Sanborn worked for four months with Ed Scheidt - retired Chairman of the CIA Office of Communications - to devise the codes used in the sculpture.
  • In addition to the S-shaped screen, the actual Kryptos installation consists also of a Morse-code message and a compass rose. There is also an adjacent fountain. Some suspect that there might be hidden clues in them. However, the solutions to K1, K2 and K3 didn't require any physical access to the installation, which is off-limits to the public, due to it being located on CIA grounds. Furthermore, there are no Kryptos tours available to the public. When asked by Wired News whether one has to be on the CIA grounds in order to solve Kryptos, Mr. Sanborn laconically responded with a "No".

Resources

For a list of useful Kryptos resources - from around the magical, electric interwebs - please, refer to the dedicated dedicated section of our web site.

Transcript

EMUFPHZLRFAXYUSDJKZLDKRNSHGNFIVJ
YQTQUXQBQVYUVLLTREVJYQTMKYRDMFD
BETWEENSUBTLESHADINGANDTHEABSENC
EOFLIGHTLIESTHENUANCEOFIQLUSION

VFPJUDEEHZWETZYVGWHKKQETGFQJNCE
GGWHKK?DQMCPFQZDQMMIAGPFXHQRLG
TIMVMZJANQLVKQEDAGDVFRPJUNGEUNA
QZGZLECGYUXUEENJTBJLBQCRTBJDFHRR
YIZETKZEMVDUFKSJHKFWHKUWQLSZFTI
HHDDDUVH?DWKBFUFPWNTDFIYCUQZERE
EVLDKFEZMOQQJLTTUGSYQPFEUNLAVIDX
FLGGTEZ?FKZBSFDQVGOGIPUFXHHDRKF
FHQNTGPUAECNUVPDJMQCLQUMUNEDFQ
ELZZVRRGKFFVOEEXBDMVPNFQXEZLGRE
DNQFMPNZGLFLPMRJQYALMGNUVPDXVKP
DQUMEBEDMHDAFMJGZNUPLGEWJLLAETG
ITWASTOTALLYINVISIBLEHOWSTHATPO
SSIBLE?THEYUSEDTHEEARTHSMAGNET
ICFIELDXTHEINFORMATIONWASGATHER
EDANDTRANSMITTEDUNDERGRUUNDTOANU
NKNOWNLOCATIONXDOESLANGLEYKNOWA
BOUTTHIS?THEYSHOULDITSBURIEDOUT
THERESOMEWHEREXWHOKNOWSTHEEXACTL
OCATION?ONLYWWTHISWASHISLASTMES
SAGEXTHIRTYEIGHTDEGREESFIFTYSE
VENMINUTESSIXPOINTFIVESECONDSNO
RTHSEVENTYSEVENDEGREESEIGHTMINU
TESFORTYFOURSECONDSWESTXLAYERTWO

 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCD
AKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYP
BRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPT
CYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTO
DPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOS
ETOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSA
FOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSAB
GSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABC
HABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCD
IBCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDE
JCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEF
KDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFG
LEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGH
MFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHI
ENDYAHROHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBIDYSHNAIA
CHTNREYULDSLLSLLNOHSNOSMRWXMNE
TPRNGATIHNRARPESLNNELEBLPIIACAE
WMTWNDITEENRAHCTENEUDRETNHAEOE
TFOLSEDTIWENHAEIOYTEYQHEENCTAYCR
EIFTBRSPAMHHEWENATAMATEGYEERLB
TEEFOASFIOTUETUAEOTOARMAEERTNRTI
BSEDDNIAAHTTMSTEWPIEROAGRIEWFEB
AECTDDHILCEIHSITEGOEAOSDDRYDLORIT
RKLMLEHAGTDHARDPNEOHMGFMFEUHE
ECDMRIPFEIMEHNLSSTTRTVDOHW?
SLOWLYDESPARATLYSLOWLYTHEREMAINS
OFPASSAGEDEBRISTHATENCUMBEREDT
HELOWERPARTOFTHEDOORWAYWASREMOV
EDWITHTREMBLINGHANDSIMADEATINY
BREACHINTHEUPPERLEFTHANDCORNERAN
DTHENWIDENINGTHEHOLEALITTLEIIN
SERTEDTHECANDLEANDPEEREDINTHEHOT
AIRESCAPINGFROMTHECHAMBERCAUSED
THEFLAMETOFLICKERBUTPRESENTLYDETA
ILSOFTHEROOMWITHINEMERGEDFROM
THEMISTXCANYOUSEEANYTHINGQ?
OBKR
UOXOGHULBSOLIFBBWFLRVQQPRNGKSSO
TWTQSJQSSEKZZWATJKLUDIAWINFBNYP
VTTMZFPKWGDKZXTJCDIGKUHUAUEKCAR
____
_______________________________
_______________________________
_______________________________

NGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJL
OHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJL
PIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLM
QJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMN
RLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQ
SMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQU
TNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUV
UQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVW
VUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWX
WVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZ
XWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZK
YXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKR
ZZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRY
 ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCD

Color coding added for clarity: K1, K2, K3, K4, encryption tableau.

News

Trello board added
We've added a Trello board for transparently keeping track of current progress, related to reported issues, requested features and ongoing work items. It's also accessible from the web-page menu, via "Project" -> "Trello".
15 Feb 2021, 20:15:37 UTC · Discuss


Website and Project Maintenance at 02:00 PST / 05:00 EST / 10:00 UTC on Feb 7th
The project and website are going to be down on Feb 7th from 02:00 PST / 05:00 EST / 10:00 UTC for about 4 hours.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
6 Feb 2021, 20:12:27 UTC · Discuss


Website and Project Maintenance at 02:00 PST / 05:00 EST / 10:00 UTC on Feb 1st
The project and website are going to be down on Feb 1st from 02:00 PST / 05:00 EST / 10:00 UTC for about 30 minutes.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
31 Jan 2021, 19:51:48 UTC · Discuss


Validation bug fixed
We've just released an updated version of the Kryptos Plato result validator, which correctly handles broken output format. The latter occurs occasionally under Windows and VirtualBox.
28 Jan 2021, 22:40:53 UTC · Discuss


Maintenance planned for 02:00 PST / 05:00 EST / 10:00 UTC on Jan 28th
The project and website are going to be down on Jan 28th from 02:00 PST / 05:00 EST / 10:00 UTC. The expected downtime is one hour.
No project results, workunits nor credits - past or present - are going to be affected.
28 Jan 2021, 0:07:31 UTC · Discuss


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