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May 6, 2014

NSA is tweeting in code

The Internet was abuzz this week over a cryptic tweet sent by the National Security Agency's careers account, which looked like (1) a particularly bad pocket tweet, (2) the latest from Rakesh Agrawal, or (3) a coded message containing national secrets/spy instructions/something else out of the FX drama "The Americans:"

tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf. #MissionMonday #NSA #news

Alas, it is a coded message. It does not, however, contain anything interesting. Twitter-detective Daniel Shealey pointed us to this cryptogram-solver, which generates the following result:

want to know what it takes to work at nsa? check back each monday as we explore careers essential to protecting your nation.

. . . oh. An NSA spokeswoman explained to the Daily Dot that the agency is known for its "code markers and code breakers," and that the tweet was "part of our recruitment efforts to attract the best and the brightest."

But if solving this particular code qualifies you to join the NSA, the agency may be in trouble. It's just a simple substitution cipher - each letter of the alphabet is traded out for one other letter. It's basically one of the most rudimentary types of codes.

Maybe the NSA will up its game with next week's coded tweet.

 

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