Replicating the modus operandi of the enigmatic Numbers Stations documented by amateur radio enthusiasts since the early part of the 20th Century; this work transmits an encrypted set of data at regular intervals daily across the Internet.
Replicating the modus operandi of the enigmatic Numbers Stations documented by amateur radio enthusiasts since the early part of the 20th Century; this work transmits an encrypted set of data at regular intervals daily across the Internet. The data itself is a copy of The Adventure of The Dancing Men by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - a Sherlock Homes mystery and one of the earliest pop culture references to encryption. The story uses a simple substitution cipher as its main plot device, and it is with this cipher that the story itself is encrypted for transmission.
In the same way Numbers Stations are oft chanced upon on radio networks with no explanation of their purpose, meaning or origin - so too the Letters Station offers no answers for the strings of encrypted text found in server logs by system administrators across the globe.
This work is currently installed and active from robdunne.com.
Technology Overview: (Added for those who were interested)
The work is written in OO PHP using the Codeigniter MVC framework.
The Sherlock Holmes text is ciphered, split into lines of 200 characters and added to an array.
An IP address is randomly generated, taking into account reserved addresses and the range of the octets.
A UDP socket connection is opened, and the array is looped sending each string of the ciphered text in order to the IP address.
The IP address is looked up using the ipinfodb.com API, and location, latitude and longitude are returned.
This data along with date and time are added to a MySQL database.
Processing is used to connect to the database and plot the points - converting spherical to Cartesian coordinates, to produce a series of images for each frame (loop) of the visualisation.
- Year Created: 2011
- Submitted to ArtBase: Monday Sep 26th, 2011
- Original Url: http://robdunne.com/works/detail/ls
- robdunne, primary creator
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