In the past decade, so-called alternate-reality games – which took players on elaborate scavenger hunts online and off – had been used to market .
More romantically, spy masters have used riddles and puzzles as a recruitment technique going back at least to World War II, when British cryptographer Alan Turing used an extremely challenging crossword to help find agents who could crack Nazi codes.
arcus Wanner needed a little adventure in his life.
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There was Wakeen, a 16-year-old Chilean-born math prodigy, who, as he puts it, "obsesses about cryptography." There was John Henrik Guttorm, a 26-year-old hacker in the Arctic circle of Norway, who did sound and lights for local concerts during the long sunless days.
"If you ask someone here what he does, he says, ' Fishing and fucking,' " Guttorm tells me.
" ' And in the winter, less fishing.' " The Rise and Fall of Jeremy Hammond: Enemy of the State As a devastating series of cyberattacks struck the heart of the national-security establishment, the Feds set out to destroy the legendary hacker and radical anarchist by any means necessary As Team #decipher knew, cryptographic mind-benders have been around for centuries.
The most legendary is the Voynich manuscript (a handwritten codex carbon-dated to the 15th century and thought to have originated in Central Europe), which cryptographers have still yet to solve.
Shuttling Marcus between home, church and the Boy Scouts seemed like the best way to keep him away from trouble (and girls). "I didn't get out much."Though Marcus was gifted with computers, his mom and dad, an electrical engineer, also locked him down online.