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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based full disk encryption and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

Encryption Blast From The Past: WWII Carrier Pigeon Carried Crypto Message (Reproduced, Updated)

An interesting bit of news from England, which is related to cryptography but not necessarily in the realm of AlertBoot mobile encryption.  A man in Surrey found the remains of a pigeon in his chimney.  The bird carried a secret message in a red plastic capsule attached to its leg.  I've reproduced it to the best of my abilities:

AOAKN HVPKD FNFJU YIDDC
RQXSR* DJHFP GOVFN MIAPX
PABUZ WYYNP CMPNW HJRZH
NLXKG NEMKK ONOIB AKEEQ
UAOTA RBQRH DJOFM TPZEH
LKXGH RGGHT JRZCQ FNKTQ
KLDTS GQIRU AOAKN 27 1525/6

 NURP    4OTW    194
 NURP    37DK      76

"To the best of my abilities" because I've had to guess a couple of the entries.  If you'd like to check for yourself, my sources are the dailymail.com, where a picture is available, and the Vancouver Sun (video @ 00:52 mark is the most legible).

I notice straight off the bat that the first entry and penultimate entry of the main body are identical (AOAKN), so chances are the penultimate entry is actually the last entry (along with the fact that "27 1525/6," whatever it may be, is composed entirely of numbers while the rest of the message is entirely letters).  All letters of the English alphabet are present in this section.

The last two lines, unlike the main body, combine letters and numbers.  In fact, I have to wonder whether the circle in 4OTW is a zero as opposed to an "oh," in keeping with the 37 right below it.

Would it be possible for an amateur crypto-cracker to wean the hidden message?  Possibly.  Cryptanalysis has made advances since the World War II era.  On the other hand, the use of onetime pads makes it impossible to crack short messages.  Or even long ones, as the Beale ciphers show (they're from 1885, and one of them remains uncracked).

* Update (02 NOV 2012): Others have done transcribed the encrypted message as well, and some have written the RQXSR entry as RQXDR.  But the Vancouver Sun video clearly shows an S.
* Update (23 NOV 2012): GCHQ has given up on cracking it.


Related Articles and Sites:
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20164591

 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.