As you might have heard, Britain’s security agency put up an online puzzle earlier this week as a way of trying to recruit new cryptologists and code-breakers. Unfortunately, it seems a simple Google search can unlock the answer to Can You Crack It? and help potential recruits get through to the next round.
As a number of people have noted, the site: command search in Google – which is used to see all pages at a site that are visible to search engines – reveals that the confirmation of success page (i.e. the Congratulations, You’ve Done It page) is out in plain sight, which means anyone can just go there via Google and pretend they’ve cracked the code.
Satisfying? No. Effective? Yes. And frankly, perhaps it doesn’t really matter. After all, the aim of the puzzle was to get to the next stage, and using site:command to do it is a valid method. Perhaps this is the kind of lateral thinking that GCHQ could do with? That, and someone who knows how to lock down a site and prevent it being cralwed by Google and Bing.