Sunday, April 07, 2013

Operation Tinker Bell Launched

Operation Tinker Bell, a new cryptologic challenge, has started on April 6. The goal is to decrypt the operational messages of a covert CIA operation and follow the spy story, hidden in the messages. All required decryption tools and keys are at your disposal.

Operation Tinker Bell starts on March 17, 1964, in the height of the Cold War, when KGB Colonel Alexander Rogozin decides to defect and Robert Novak from CIA's Soviet division becomes his case officer.

A first covert meeting between CIA operative Roman Danilov and Rogozin, scheduled on April 5, turns out disastrous. Danilov never returns from the meeting and there's no trace left of Ragozin. It appears that Danilov has been the victim of a KGB staged false recruitment.

Novak's mission is to investigate the disappearance of Danilov and to track down Colonel Rogozin. Operation Tinker Bell, the hunt for Rogozin has started. It's a journey that will bring Novak across the Soviet Union and Western Europe. For obvious security reasons, all communications between Langley, the CIA stations abroad and covert assets behind the Iron Curtain are encrypted.

You will learn how to work with state-of-the-art crypto equipment, use one-time pads to decipher messages and read first-hand how the operation evolves. This sounds harder than it actually is. If you can type on a keyboard, you can decrypt the messages. Excitement and fun guaranteed!

Visit the operation's Briefing Room for all details about the operation and how to decrypt the operational messages. You will receive the personal files of all agents involved and you will have the Communications Center and the Crypto Room at your disposal.

Good luck with the operation... and watch your back!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I tried to decode radio message TB-0022 with OTP IN 59709, all I got was unintelligible alphabet soup.

Dirk Rijmenants said...

Hi Anonymous,

The message and key are correct. Did you skip the key indicator 59709 in the message and in the OTP key? those digits are not part of the actual encrypted message. Also, make sure to add message and key without carry 5 + 7 = 2 and not 12!

Keep me posted on your progres...

Anonymous said...

I successfully decoded the previous radio messages as described on the COMCEN page, however, TB-0022 does not make any sense. Skipping the key indicator, the code quintet 25872 and the first OTP quintet 54495 result in 79287, or "MEX" after conversion using the straddling checkerboard table.

Dirk Rijmenants said...

Hi,

it seems you don't add the two correctly. 7+9 gives 16 thus 6...

25872 53945 message
+54495 95934 key
-------------------
=79267 48879 or MET GYM....

Anonymous said...

m( I did the same mistake twice! Thanks, now everything figures out.

Dirk Rijmenants said...

I'm glad it's solved. Have fun with the operation!