September 30, 2007
A plaintext question today.
Connect these numbers:
212 //// 796 //// 0735
and the TV series LOST.
This question is officially closed. Answers will be announced when Srikanth comes back from his Amazonian expedition.
Answered “perfectly” by Tathagata Chatterjee. Atul Mathew came really really close.
The connect I was looking for was Numbers Stations. As many of you identified, the three numbers were VoIP numbers that, when called, read out a series of numbers to the caller. This prank, called Project Evil, was perpetrated via CraigsList by a group of hackers to find out the strength of the online crypto community. (Numbers Stations, as the wikipedia article will tell you, were used by various spooks during the cold war to transmit encoded information to their headquarters. )
What many of you didn’t identify was that one of the various subplots of LOST involved a radio beacon transmitting some numbers over and over again, effectively a numbers station being used to call for help.
Another possible connect that most of you suspected was that internet-people suspected that the VoIP numbers stations were part of some viral marketing campaign for LOST. But the project evil hackers claim this to be entirely false, and I am inclined to agree with them.
Sorry for the delay in posting the answer folks! Was caught up in another city… Devadutta, thanks for holding the fort dude. Mumbai or Brazil, doesnt really matter when the link is on the blink ;-)