Aegis Nova Wargames
Leading up to the Aegis Nova anomaly on Saturday May 28 2016, followers on the Verum Inveniri Google+ page were invited to take part in the Aegis Nova Wargames. Aegis Nova Wargames is a series of cryptographic puzzles that reward the agents who can solve them the fastest with critical intel for various sites in the anomaly.
Before we begin, we’ll discuss what we’ll be looking for. We are looking to somehow convert the puzzle presented into a string of characters that fit a certain pattern. The pattern we are looking for today is
xxxxxxxx#keyword#, meaning there are 8 letters followed by a number, followed by a keyword (typically related to the Ingress story somehow), and ending with a number. There are other patterns for other types of puzzles, this pattern is strictly for anomaly rewards.
The reward for solving the puzzle, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, is critical intel about various cluster/portals/shards. You also get XM, AP, and items:
The media item links to the following piece of intel.
Look at all that money! Verum Inveniri also left us a clue:
We have 13 piles of money, let’s build a table separating out the bills and coins:
The letters A to Z are represented by the numbers 65 to 90 in ASCII, the numbers 0 to 9 are stored as 48 to 57. With that knowledge, and knowledge of the pattern, we can see the amount of bills are representing the ten’s digit of the passcode: There are 8 values of 6 to 9 at the top of the chart, followed by a 5, followed by another set of 6 to 8, and ending with a 5.
We will divide the bills by 100, and add the value of the coins:
|Bills||Bills ÷ 100||Coins||Bills ÷ 100 + Coins|
Converting the final values to an ASCII character:
|Bills ÷ 100 + Coins||ASCII|
The image isn’t showing much, let’s change the brightness levels and rotate it:
Extracting the numbers:
Looking at the data carefully, we notice a pattern:
These are all dates in YYYYMMDD format. The hint that Verum Inveniri provides should give us a clue on how to proceed:
Searching for a few days tells us these dates are the birthdates of famous people with the last name Shield or Shields. Let’s build a table:
||Francis Alexander Shields|
||Carol Shields (ophthalmologist)|
The only important information we have now are the first names, the first letter seems interesting to look at:
The passcode format requires numbers after the 8 beginning characters and at the end of the code. Numbers are sometimes shortened to two letters, FI and NI can be changed to 5 and 9: