Hacker Harry really wants to get into the server room at a local dot com company, so he dressed up as a phone repairman and planted some bugs in the break room to listen in on the workers. Sure enough, against all security common sense, he hears two employees discussing the entry codes!

"So the code to get into the server room is CentOS right?"

"For the main door, yes, but don't forget we added a code to the second door, and the rack door itself as well."

"Oh, that's right. Uhh, it was Tomcat and NodeJS, right?"

"Yup, but remember, memorize it, don't write it down!"

Hacker Harry couldn't believe his luck. That very night he broke into the office, but to his chagrin the lock on the server room door was a combination lock! It had 100 numbers on the dial, everything from 00 to 99, but then what in the world did the codes mean?

Quick! Before Harry gets caught by security, what is the correct combination to the three doors, and how do the codes provide the combination?

Hint 1:

The combination lock follows the standard setup. That is, it requires three numbers to open, so each of the three combination will be comprised of three numbers.

  • $\begingroup$ See the information given can lead to many answers If i understood correctly each door has a lock of 3 numbers each from 00 to 99 . One answer could be these numbers could be the date of first release of these softwares $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ There is no knowledge tag, so assume you don't need to know any details that aren't directly in the puzzle. The passwords don't have to be software, they don't even have to be real words $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 13:09
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    $\begingroup$ @AakashMathur I was thinking more like the current releases of those softwares $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2020 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ Those are all 6 letters, and we have 6 digits in the combination. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 5:20
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    $\begingroup$ It seems to me that there are a lot of ways that letters could be converted into numbers, and nothing in particular pointing to the correct one. Without an example, this seems very much like "guess what I'm thinking". $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 16:44

2 Answers 2



the word phone is important,

we could translate each letter as follows:

ABC=2, DEF=3, GHI=4, JKL=5, MNO=6, PQRS=7, TUV=8, WXYZ=9

which gives the decoded result of

CentOS = 23 - 68 - 67

Tomcat = 86 - 62 - 28

NodeJS = 66 - 33 - 57

  • $\begingroup$ This was my intent, but I clearly underestimated the wide variety of possible and plausible answers $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 0:41

I'll go ahead and make a try at this.

1st lock:


2nd lock


3rd lock



convert letter to number using standard a1z26 encoding. Add each pair of letters. centos 3-5-14-20-15-19 8-34-34

or does capitalization matter?


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