The US Navy cryptologists use a logo that contains an encrypted message. Can a reader decipher it?
Today’s crypto mystery was provided to me by George Keller from New York state, whom I have the pleasure to meet regularly at crypto history conferences. George is a US Navy veteran and radio amateur, who spent a part of his military service in Germany. The following picture was taken at Bletchley Park (as you see, George met Winston Churchill personally):
George pointed out the following logo (the Navy cryptologic community seal) to me:
There is an encrypted message written around the outer ring of the logo. It is hard to read, so George shaded the picture a little. In the following version, the message is clearly visible:
George also provided me a transcription (in groups of ten letters, to make it easier to copy and check):
BZoxfbEkgF EkeJzjeJY2 CZacLJ9pLK gkfI4=T3M5
fKUyeJ9qdZ PjY2LbCplb CVEoepQyeA Ekf3QofbEW
dZgxBZacLH oxgJYveJoq CZ5mCVzjT3 olCAMcfJlm
CVESfJYbBA Use25cOFEk epTjUZaoB3 Ube25sBbEA
BAMpBAMoLH 9zCAMkgJoy eqPjdZ4je3 MnCALjgJ8i
CJYvdACofI EoCpCoB3Uc LKUrfp91C2 jjf2YkOFEk
dALvLJakep TvLKQzBZQo OFEkepTjB3 o1CALjCJ9w
According to George, the Morse Code letters under the shield, which spell R3B64, might be a hint. It is not known what the binary numbers around the inside of the logo are, but many of them seem to start with 01.
Here’s an explanation of the logo:
While not a representative of a Navy organization or command in the traditional sense, this seal represents our own rich heritage, who we are and where we are going. It represents us. The Naval officer crest and our cryptologic technician insignia, with its lightning bolt and quill, represent and respect our long history. These symbols have stood from the earliest days of our community to the present day. The binary background overlaid on the globe represents our part in the larger information warfare community, whose seal shares the same symbolism, as well as our core expertise in cyber, along with our global reach. The skeleton key reminds us that we are relied upon to unlock and solve puzzles, and in many cases find missing pieces to paint a complete picture of our Nation’s adversaries. The key is engraved with the date symbolic of our collective establishment as a naval profession: March 11, 1935. The chain binds us all together — officer, enlisted, and civilian — and binds our core missions — SIGINT, Cyber, and EW — to us, and us to them. The three stars also symbolize these three core missions. Through the converged domain, we enable and deliver effects to the commander and fellow warfighters. Our Community Vision, an update to our 2012 Foundational Principles, is also under construction and I will share it with you as soon as it is complete.
George wrote to me: “If you figure it out, NSA will probably offer you a very high paying job.” So, if you’re lookig for a new career opportunity, try to solve this mystery.
Further reading: Listen to this musical cipher from 1933