Jan 042013

Activation Code Contest Image

Yesterday we posted the above image on our blog as well as through each of our social media outlets.  We also posted it on Decode Ingress where it was solved within 30 minutes.  

Now the person who posted the correct answer was not able to verify if the code worked for them or not and it seems like someone may have claimed it before they had a chance to so we ended up sending them their own code privately so that they could redeem it without worry.   But not everyone is able to decode that fast and several people discovered the answer after the fact.

If you are having trouble figuring out exactly how this image was decoded we are here to help and want to help so you have an idea on how many things are decoded within Ingress to reveal Passcodes.

  1. Step one is to remove the text from the image.  This would normally have to be done by manual transcription but yesterday we also supplied the text itself to make things easier.   The Raw text is:
  2. Step two would be to pay attention to the numbers.  86 and 92.  In this case those numbers stood for two things.  86 was the starting character and 92 was the length of the string.    When that is done it would leave you with the following string:
  3. This string is Base64 Encoded.  It may be thought that the entire first string is base 64 encoded (as there is multiple == in there which is generally significant in Base64 strings. But that is not the case this time only our sub string was Base64 Encoded.  When decoded you are left with the following string:
  4. The string is a concatinated squence of 3 numbers followed by a NATO phonetic alphabet word. When broken out and replaced with the corresponding letter you have the following:
    011 U
    110 G
    010 C
    000 D
    101 D
    111 N
    001 G
  5. These letters represent the actual activation code and the numbers in front of them represent a binary cipher used to mix them out of order.  using this as a key the correct order can be found:
    Octal Binary
    0 000
    1 001
    2 010
    3 011
    4 100
    5 101
    6 110
    7 111
  6. Once that is used the correct activation code could be pulled out resulting in: DGCUIDGN

Hope this helps lend some insight into decoding used to recover Ingress Passcodes from the Niantic Project media that is released.

  5 Responses to “Decoding Yesterdays Image and Deciphering In General”

  1. hey, Thanks for posting this, I didn’t have time (nor saw the post quick enough) to wreck my brain on the code.

    However, I feel that I have perfected a cypher on my own. I put out a message and got the internet to give it a stab and with the new year dawning, not a single one could either tell me the message, nor the way it worked. Some were close, but their excitement at pulling a crack only made their journey much, MUCH harder by missing other obvious (or seemingly obvious I should say) steps and elements. I wish to leave you a message that I feel will be both more challenging, and worth an invite, if not the enternal respects from one crytologist to another.

    Please let me know if this is something you may be interested in. I thoroughly enjoy my Ingression Experience and would like to contribute to it in any way I can.


  2. Can I have the activation code?

  3. The thing i cud catch frm this post waz dat the passcode is a 8 lettered random word , i may get a probability of roughly 1000/(26^8) of gettin a correct passcode taking u ppl give codes so miserly.

    • An activation code can be 8 characters or numbers. This one was a random one that just happened to be all letters.

      so you essentially have 36^8 possibilities. But it’s important to keep in mind activation codes are only generated when invites are sent out. So you’re going to have to try and guess a code that’s been generated and one that has not been used.

      Good luck with that and with your grasp on the English language.

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