Tengri-2-bar

A new Tengri 137 challenge has shown up. Blog reader Norbert Biermann found the solution – codebreaking at its best. Now the next Tengri 137 puzzle is waiting to be solved.

Three weeks ago I blogged about Tengri 137, an encrypted book that had been published anonymously in August 2016 (thanks to Bernhard Esslinger for the hint). Its existence was made known in a PGP-signed message that was linked in a tweet sent from the Twitter account “Tengri (137)” on September 16.

Unlike the Blitz Ciphers, Tengri 137 was not presented as an antique book. It is clear that it is at most a few years old and only exists as a digital document. It was probably created by a person with a background in mathematics and science. The purpose of Tengri 137 is unclear. It might be the starting point of an internet game similar to Cicada 3301.

Pages 1 to 16 of the Tengri 137 book were already solved, when I published my first article about it. The solution is available in the Tengri 137 Wikia. Pages 17 to 23 are different from the 16 first ones. These seven pages were unsolved, until blog reader Klaus Tappeiner from South Tyrol decrypted six of them in an ingenious act of codebreaking. I wrote about this story in my blog post from Wednesday last week.

 

A new challenge

On March 14, which is known as Pi Day among mathematicians, “Tengri (137)” published another tweet (thanks to Klaus Tappeiner for the hint).

Tengri-Twitter

This message contained a link to a PGP-signed message that directed to a sound file in MP3 format. Here is:

Musikvideo: Adobe Flash Player (Version 9 oder höher) wird benötigt um dieses Musikvideo abzuspielen. Die aktuellste Version steht hier zum herunterladen bereit. Außerdem muss JavaScript in Ihrem Browser aktiviert sein.

A day later blog reader nimrodx0 wrote: “Today I have found something very interesting in the recently shared mp3-file from the Tengri (137) Twitter account.” In a spectrogram (a visual representation of the frequencies in a sound) created with Sonic Visualizer he saw the following:

Tengri-Link

Apparently, this shows a URL. It leads to another sound file (it has WAV format, which isn’t supported by WordPress, so I can’t include it here). This sound file seems to be a long repeating sequence of beep sounds.

 

The solution

On the same day blog reader Norbert wrote: “I had a quick look at the waveform of the second soundfile. Choosing the right zoom factor, you can see packets that have a length of 16, 32, 48 … 128 ms. Probably they are supposed to be translated to octal numbers 0 .. 7.” Here’s a spectrogram Norbert posted:

Tengri-137-Sound

Norbert created a transcript of the WAV file. 0 stands for a 16 ms packet, 1 for 32 ms and so on. The maximum value is 8 (144 ms).

00000000000000000000000000000000002130702210221021
30330103120701140121101015102310111201131024010113
10111110330231010221011111033010610510221033010702
40101112021110330231010114101212012120121201201502
12108014105031050310123012301410141012301410141012
30123012301410141012301410141012301230123014101410
12301410141012301230123014101410123014101410123012
30123014101410123014101410123012301230141014101230
14101410123012301410141012301410141012301410123012
30141014101230141014101410123014101410141014101230
12301230123012301410141012301410141012301230141014
10141014101230123012301230123014101410123014101230
14101230141014101410123012301410123012301410141012
30123014101230141012301410141012301230141014101410
12301410141012301230123014101410123012301410123014
10141014101230123014101410123014101410141014101230
14101410123014101410141012301230141014101230141012
30123014101230141014101230141014101410141012301410
14101230141014101410123050310503102130702210221021
30330103120701140121101015102310111201131024010113
10111110330231010221011111033010610510221033010702
40101112021110330231010114101212012120121201201502
12108014105031050310123012301410141012301410141012
30123012301410141012301410141012301230123014101410
12301410141012301230123014101410123014101410123012
30123014101410123014101410123012301230141014101230
14101410123012301410141012301410141012301410123012
30141014101230141014101410123014101410141014101230
12301230123012301410141012301410141012301230141014
10141014101230123012301230123014101410123014101230
14101230141014101410123012301410123012301410141012
30123014101230141012301410141012301230141014101410
12301410141012301230123014101410123012301410123014
10141014101230123014101410123014101410141014101230
14101410123014101410141012301230141014101230141012
30123014101230141014101230141014101410141012301410
14101230141014101410123050310503102130702210221021
30330103120701140121101015102310111201131024010113
10111110330231010221011111033010610510221033010702
40101112021110330231010114101212012120121201201502
12108014105031050310123012301410141012301410141012
30123012301410141012301410141012301230123014101410
12301410141012301230123014101410123014101410123012
30123014101410123014101410123012301230141014101230
14101410123012301410141012301410141012301410123012
30141014101230141014101410123014101410141014101230
12301230123012301410141012301410141012301230141014
10141014101230123012301230123014101410123014101230
14101230141014101410123012301410123012301410141012
30123014101230141012301410141012301230141014101410
12301410141012301230123014101410123012301410123014
10141014101230123014101410123014101410141014101230
14101410123014101410141012301230141014101230141012
30123014101230141014101230141014101410141012301410
14101230141014101410123050310503103302310121101033
02310121101033023101211000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Interpreting zero as a letter divider and any sequence of figures between two zeros as a discrete letter, Norbert got 27 different letters which he transcribed in the order of their appearance as follows:

213: a
7: b
221: c
33: d
1: e
312: f
114: g
1211: h
151: i
231: j
1112: k
1131: l
24: m
11111: n
61: o
51: p
2111: q
1141: r
1212: s
12: t
15: u
2121: v
8: w
141: x
5: y
31: z
123: A

Thus he received the following letter sequence:

abccadefbgheijklmelndjecndeopcdebmekqdjerssstuvwx
yzyz
AAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAx
xAxxAxAAxxAxxxAxxxxAAAAAxxAxxAAxxxxAAAAAxxAxAxAxxx
AAxAAxxAAxAxAxxAAxxxAxxAAAxxAAxAxxxAAxxAxxxxAxxAxx
xAAxxAxAAxAxxAxxxxAxxAxxxA
yzyz
abccadefbgheijklmelndjecndeopcdebmekqdjerssstuvwx
yzyz
AAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAx
xAxxAxAAxxAxxxAxxxxAAAAAxxAxxAAxxxxAAAAAxxAxAxAxxx
AAxAAxxAAxAxAxxAAxxxAxxAAAxxAAxAxxxAAxxAxxxxAxxAxx
xAAxxAxAAxAxxAxxxxAxxAxxxA
yzyz
abccadefbgheijklmelndjecndeopcdebmekqdjerssstuvwx
yzyz
AAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAAxxAxxAAx
xAxxAxAAxxAxxxAxxxxAAAAAxxAxxAAxxxxAAAAAxxAxAxAxxx
AAxAAxxAAxAxAxxAAxxxAxxAAAxxAAxAxxxAAxxAxxxxAxxAxx
xAAxxAxAAxAxxAxxxxAxxAxxxA
yzyz
djhedjhedjh

If the letter E is taken as word divider, a possible decryption of the beginning is:

abccad fbgh ijklm lndj cnd opcd bm kqdj
LITTLE MIND KNOWS WHEN THE GATE IS OPEN

Blog reader Alex later remarked that BIRD fits better than MIND. LITTLE BIRD may refer to Twitter. The end reads like this:

djhedjhedjh
END END END

Replacing A by zero and x by one in the AAxxAA part, Norbert received the following byte sequence: 36 36 36 36 36 36 6d 37 78 36 78 35 72 65 67 63 2e 6f 6e 69 6f 6e. Converted to ASCII character this means:

666666m7x6x5regc.onion

This is obviously an address in the TOR network. Blog reader Renederberserker tried to open it but it didn’t work. Probably, we need to “know when the gate is open”, as the message found by Norbert implies. The time when the gate is open might be announced on Twitter (“little bird knows”). It is well possible that the last page of the book, which is still unsolved, gives additional clues.

 

What does “regc” mean?

Blog reader Alex made another interesting discovery. The PGP-signed message linked in the most recent Tengri (137) tweet lists the following numbers: 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, 126. These are the magic numbers in nuclear physics. Only 126 is missing. However, if we interpret the string “666666m7x6x5” as “666666 modulo 7 × 6 × 5” we get 126.

I have to admit that I am absolutely overwhelmed by the many discoveries my readers have made. This is codebreaking as its best. Many thanks to Norbert, nimrodx0, Alex, and Klaus for this great work.

I wonder what will happen next. Will we find a way to open the TOR address “666666m7x6x5regc.onion”? Will there be additional tweets? Can we decipher the last page of the book? And, finally, what does “regc” mean?


Further reading: Tony Gaffney’s starlight steganogram

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Kommentare (7)

  1. #1 Arminius
    18. März 2017

    “regc” probably means nothing. It may just be an artifact due to the limited computing power when brute-forcing a Tor address.

  2. #2 Alex
    18. März 2017

    @Arminius brute-forcing a 12 char onion address (666666m7x6x5) takes also with a personal computer 1800 years. With a super computer maybe 300 to 500 years? If she can do this easily, why not a complete onion address with 16 chars?

    The tool GARLIC shows you how it works.

    Read here: http://tengri137.wikia.com/wiki/Twitter_message_2017#The_ONION_Address.21.21.21

  3. #3 Thomas
    18. März 2017

    regc = (storing) register c? (e.g.: https://www.google.com/patents/EP0046963B1?cl=en). Whatever the purpose of such a register in the modulo operation may be.

  4. #4 Arminius
    18. März 2017

    @Alex It’s a technique that show magicians use: They make you think an outcome was determined beforehand when they actually have a plan for different outcomes. It’s more plausible that only parts of the sequence were fixed and the rest was given a meaning after the fact. E.g., the challenge authors were looking for “interesting” sequences starting with 666666… and then created a story around the random rest. I understand that the alien superpower hypothesis is more intriguing, but it’s really just a trick.

    Also it’s unclear to me how according to the wiki a personal computer (“1800 years”) is supposed to be only 6 times slower than a “super computer” (“300 years”) for a task that can be easily parallelized. It absolutely makes sense to look for a meaning in all parts of the puzzle – but the all-caps this-is-not-human hysteria in the wiki won’t help the case.

    Maybe aliens are using the sequences to test how superstitious and susceptible to seeing patterns in random data humans are – and we have failed. :-)

  5. #5 Alex
    18. März 2017

    @Arminius this sounds plausible. More a magician then a mathematician. I think, i now yet what the author means with reformating the brain. If you read the first pages (from page 1 to 17) you can understand what i mean.

  6. #6 Norbert
    18. März 2017

    abo

  7. #7 Klaus Schmeh
    18. März 2017

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:
    Very impressive.
    Once audio is involved the options for modulation and encoding are huge