Off the Hook Contest: 617-848-1172

The mysterious Craigslist spy, or whoever it is, has returned.

On May 8, an unknown person posted a message to Craigslist addressed to “Mein Fraulein” with a telephone number to call in the message. When called, an automated message began reading off a sequence of numbers, similar to shortwave numbers stations which have been used since the Cold War by intelligence agencies to communicate with agents in the field.

On May 29 a second message appeared, and then on June 10, a third message.

On Tuesday, a fourth message appeared on Boston Craigslist:

For mein fraulein

Mein Fraulein,

Hope to see you this summer. Please call.


For those of you trying to break the messages, this should provide further material to work with. Here’s a transcription of the message.

Group 215
01200 60110 18011 02500 90310
23018 02303 00230 34038 03003
80410 31048 03803 40430 39055
05605 70450 55047 04506 00520
62051 06106 50750 71072 08007
40640 69083 08608 70900 72093
08309 10910 80100 09010 41040
94101 09010 01040 98110 11710
11151 14

As with the previous three messages, I’ve captured a recording (MP3) of the message.

(Technical problems reported here earlier were a result of my equipment, rather than the remote end, and have since been fixed. The recording has been replaced with a clean recording.)

The telephone number belongs to Focal Communications, which recently purchased Broadwing, a VoIP provider.

I haven’t had much time to look at the message, but some of the patterns seen in the earlier messages are definitely gone, and this message, which was in Boston as Wil Wheaton predicted, and around the predicted time, seems more like the third message than the first two.

When I get more information, I’ll continue to post it.

Update June 22: Mike from the hacker radio show Off The Hook admitted (MP3) on the air Wednesday night to creating this number. “I had planned to make one of these stations, and now I’ve done so. It’s not that hard,” he said. “I took a recording of some of the old ones and chopped it up, and the recording was a bit overmodulated.”

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say there is a secret message, but I would advise our listeners to look for one,” he said. He wouldn’t admit that the message had anything to do with the upcoming Hackers On Planet Earth conference. However, the 2600 homepage now shows a flashing Bush icon, which means that a HOPE-related contest is underway.

Off The Hook host Emmanuel Goldstein said that a clue to solving this particular message was “Lose the 5.”

One thought on “Off the Hook Contest: 617-848-1172

  • July 25, 2006 at 7:33 am

    We know exactly what this one was; Mike went and told us. Now try to figure out the others.

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