Can You Solve the Encryption Puzzle In the EFF's Def Con T-Shirt? (Updated)

Illustration for article titled Can You Solve the Encryption Puzzle In the EFF's Def Con T-Shirt? (Updated)

The annual hackers' conference, DEF CON, wrapped up yesterday, but one of the weekend's many great mysteries still persists. The images above are an encryption puzzle ("Encryption is Key") that was printed on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's fundraising t-shirts from the event. As of Sunday morning, no one had solved it, so here's a hint, straight from our friends at the EFF.


What you're looking at above are actually two views of the shirt. (Click here to see an even larger, more legible image.) On the left, you see the way the shirt ordinarily looks, and on the right, the glow-in-the-dark view. Yup! Part of the shirt glows in the dark. TRICKY! According to Aaron Jue at the EFF, the binary code that glows is critical to solving the puzzle. So all you smarty pants hackers out there: What is this shirt trying to tell us?

The EFF was offering prizes to the first people to solve the puzzle. We've reached out to see if they're still up for grabs even though the conference is officially over. But hey, even if not, there's nothing quite like the rewards of a job well done, right?

Update 2:15PM:

Here's the latest from Aaron at the EFF on whether the puzzle has been solved yet.

Nobody yet! One guy is close, but we were prepared to give up to 10 prizes. We can mail it. Yes, it's the whole puzzle. The glowing binary is the first clue. Man, can't wait til it's solved. :)

Looks like the binary is just the first bit...



"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine? Son-of-a-bitch!"