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

Temporary maintenance completed
The project is back up and, by popular demand, Kryptos Plato 0.5 task generation has been resumed for time being.
22 Jan 2021, 13:08:03 UTC · Discuss


Temporarily down for maintenance
We're investigating excessive server load and until the underlying cause has been identified and eliminated the project will remain in maintenance mode.
We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
22 Jan 2021, 10:35:00 UTC · Discuss


Kryptos Plato 0.6 coming soon and BOINC Stats
We're working hard on testing our Kryptos Plato 0.6 update, which - whilst still a VirtualBox-based app - brings in substantial computational speed-ups (on the order of 10 times) and expands the exploration capabilities of Kryptos Plato, meaning that we'll be able to search within an even bigger solution space than before.
As a result, we're suspending workunit generation for a couple of days, in order to enable efficient CPU resource utilization over the more efficient version. Validation of all currently scheduled for sending (as well as ongoing) tasks will proceed as usual, until exhaustion of the work queue.


For those of you who are interested in stat tracking, Kryptos@Home has been added to BOINC Stats: https://www.boincstats.com/stats/195/project/detail/
18 Jan 2021, 11:30:54 UTC · Discuss


Project stats enabled
A huge thanks to the entire BOINC community for the invaluable feedback and support so far!

We would like to confirm that:
- The project stat export feature has been enabled :)
- We're working hard towards releasing a native counterpart to Kryptos Plato, which is currently dependent on VirtualBox. In terms of the latter, we've found that 5.2.44 version tends to work well on Windows 10, whilst Linux and Mac are not so fussy, VirtualBox-wise.
13 Jan 2021, 19:13:44 UTC · Discuss


New task batches available
We've just fixed an issue in our work generation script, and we're happy to confirm that there are new task batches on their way.
The issue originated as a direct result of unintentional cancelation of a whole lot of workunits.
We confirm that the database integrity has been preserved and no user credit, nor result data has been affected.

We offer our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
13 Jan 2021, 16:35:12 UTC · Discuss


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