From charlesreid1

Et Three, Brute?

The Story

That phone that the White Rabbit sent had a single contact in the contacts list - no name, just a number. You dial it, and the White Rabbit appears on the video screen. He's holding a cheeseburger that looks like it's made out of plastic. It has lots of lettuce on it. The White Rabbit is picking at the lettuce, leaving everything else in a tired-looking heap.

"Oh, hello again! We've got another problem on our hands." The White Rabbit glances at the cheeseburger. "POOKIE has taken over every grocery store and restaurant in Wonderland, and shut them all down. There used to be dozens of places to eat or to buy fresh food, but now there's nowhere to eat in Wonderland except at McNorad's, Wonderland's Least Awfulest Burger Chain. All they sell at McNorad's is the DEFCON 1 burger, which causes your guts to emit air raid siren noises, and shoestring fries, which are just fried shoe laces. Us rabbits, we need more fresh vegetables."

"Yikes," you say.

"It gets worse!" says the White Rabbit. "POOKIE has invested millions of leftover invisible dollars into the McNorad's burger chain. It shut down all the food supplies in Wonderland so that everyone is forced to eat at McNorad's, increasing the stock value and making POOKIE rich. Then it will have even more money to create even more mayhem here in Wonderland!" He shakes his head. "How did we ever get into this mess?"

The Mad Hatter, walking up from behind the White Rabbit, retorted, "If I recall correctly, Mr. Rabbit, you're the one who suggested Bill the Lizard take up Java programming as a hobby." He picked up the cheeseburger, began eating it, and stared at the screen. Blinked.

"Well, I'm willing to help - I've gotten all the extra credit you promised. Hello, Mr. Hatter!" you say in the friendliest voice you can manage. The Mad Hatter leans into the camera, too close, inspecting it. "WHAT?" he says. The camera points directly up his left nostril.

"Excellent!" says the White Rabbit, trying to ignore the Mad Hatter. "This time, if we solve the puzzle that POOKIE gave us, it will automatically sell all the shares of McNorad's and donate all the profits to charity."

The Mad Hatter's fingers appeared on the camera, and he began to fumble with the phone. "HELLO?" He picked up the phone and walked off, the White Rabbit frantically following.

"Okay," you say, "I'll just wait for you to send me the puzzle." You still can't see the Mad Hatter.

"Oh, and one more thing!" the White Rabbit shouts. The Mad Hatter places the phone inside of the McNorad's burger, giving you an intimate view of the DEFCON 1 cheeseburger in all its horrible glory, and he now appeared to be taking bites, trying to eat the phone. Meanwhile the White Rabbit frantically tried to finish his sentence before the Mad Hatter could successfully bite through the phone. "Our spacebar stopped working when we started transcribing the last message from POOKIE, so there are no spaces, hope that doesn't complicate things, oh and whatever you do, make sure you don't - "

The phone cut out in a fuzz of static, and the connection clicked off. Weird pair, those two. You check your extra credit account and see the extra points deposited from the puzzles you solved, and you check your mailbox and see the next puzzle. As long as they keep paying you extra credit, they can act as weird as they want.

The Cryptotext

Cryptotoken 1:

VBIAXKKXYXKLMHTGTEZHKBMAFYHKIXKYHKFBGZXGVKRIMBHGHKWXVKRIMBHGMAXPHKWHKBZBGTMXLYKHFMAXTKTUBVPHKWLBYKPABVAFXTGLMAXWBZBMSXKH

Cryptotoken 2:

UFCLWMSRYICNSXXJCOSGXRFPCCMLAYLTYQCLRCPRFCQCAPCRUMPBBGEGRYLBWMSUGJJPCACGTCYJJRFCCVRPYAPCBGRBSCRMWMS

Cryptotoken 3:

LWZRXOGDSSHDUWKDWZHKDYHUHDFKHGWKHOLPLWVRIZKDWLWLVSRVVLEOHWRDFKLHYHZLWKFRPSXWHUWHFKQRORJBDOWKRXJKRQHVKRXOGEHFDUHIXOZLWKVXFKVWDWHPHQWVDVWKHBWHQGWRVRXQGSUHWWBVLOOBLQILYHBHDUVMRKQYRQQHXPDQQ

Hint: Whenever we're trying to crack a code, we're trying to extract as much information as we can from the cryptogram, and then use that information to narrow down our guesses. In the prior problem, the inter-word spaces gave a substantial amount of information. What information is present in this problem?

Hint 2: What language are these messages in? Are there particular letters that occur more often or less often than others? How might you utilize that information to help you crack POOKIE's code?

Solution

This is a Caesar shift again, but longer ciphertext ensures representative sampling of letters and allows for a frequency attack.

The tokens:

Token 1 (k=19):

Cipher refers to an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption, the word originates from the Arabic word sifr which means the digit zero.

Token 2 (k=24):

When you take puzzle quiz three on canvas enter the secret word digit and you will receive all the extra credit due to you.

Token 3 (k=3):

It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in five years. John Von Neumann.


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