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This is part 1 of a series of multiple parts about a takeover of all the computers on earth.

You are an elite hacker working very high up in the government; you handle many important tasks. Recently you've been called in for a very special mission, all the computers across the globe are being locked down!

The worlds top leaders unite to figure out what to do, the president of the US, the prime minister of Canada, the Russian premier, the Chinese premier, and many others. You are also invited to attend, as you are known to many as the #1 Techie on the planet.

While at the meeting you get learn new information, and take the following notes:

  • Nobody can access their computers, this is slowing down large companies, small businesses, even schools.

  • New computers being made are affected immediately.

  • The canadian government has designed a back door program that effectively bypasses the lock and accesses a password screen.

  • Nobody knows the password.

  • Last but not least, the hackers cannot be traced back to.

You are tasked with the mission of unlocking a computer, finding the sinister files added, figure out who added them, and stop them.

Once you accept the mission you were given the backdoor computer, and are told that they have an emergency copy in case it breaks.

You take the computer back to your office and open it up. Once it turns on you're presented with the loading screen "Loading Glidors Ultimate..." curious enough you decide to look it up online. Then it hits you, you have no access to the Internet!

It starts up and a password screen appears, it asks you to input a password. Obviously not sure what may happen if you enter the incorrect password, you do not try to guess, instead you take out hacking tools you've developed, after attempting to run them, they come out with the error "Unknown OS". Highly disappointed, you decide to think over a tea. You go to make your tea, and when you get back you notice something weird, some pixels on the screen are different colours when you look at it differently. In fact you can clearly see that the colours are yellow, blue, red.

You take a few minutes to ponder, and then it comes to you! You type in the password and get through the lock screen!

What was the password?

Hint:

It's all numbers.

Hint2:

It has to do with RGB

Final Hint:

RGB Values are measured as 0-1 (decimal)

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if you want to answer, but if we figure out the password, will it be obvious that it is correct? It seems like that from the story, but the responses thus far (except for "the password") have been of a more "this might work" sort. $\endgroup$ – Jason Patterson Nov 9 '14 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ @warspyking: Can you clarify what looking at the screen differently means? A pixel is generally a given colour. Looking at it differently doesn't make a difference unless you consider viewing angle of things like laptop screens in which case I wouldn't actually describe the pixels as being different colours... Can you clarify or is this a key part of the problem? $\endgroup$ – Chris Nov 9 '14 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ Technology wise, this question makes very little sense. $\endgroup$ – Nit Nov 10 '14 at 0:28
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    $\begingroup$ @warspyking slightly incorrect doesn't matter to a password screen. Cases can be made for yellow (FF0, 2552550, 255000000000255000000000000, etc), brown (630, 663300), and any variation of those. No answer feels more right that any other answer, and we'll only know an answer is right because you say that's the one you wanted to see. For example, if you said that the password field seems to be masked to only accept numerical input and limits input to a max length of 9, we have good reasons to look for a 9-digit RGB colour without any prodding $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 10 '14 at 11:16
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    $\begingroup$ OK, with the hints it is doable. But a good puzzle should have a solution that is verifyable. As Jason Patterson said, when you see it you know it is correct. $\endgroup$ – Florian F Nov 10 '14 at 13:35

10 Answers 10

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Given everyone else's work and the 3 hints we now have, we know that we're looking for an RGB representation of yellow (as that's the only non-standard pixel colour [ie. not red, green or blue]) in the 0-1 scale format (rather than the 0-255 format).

Since the 255-scale representation is 255, 255, 0, the 0-1 scale representation would be 110 (or 1 1 0, or 1,1,0).


Update: Since we're apparently not just looking for the only non-standard pixel colour, we're either looking for:

RGB notation for Yellow, Red, Blue: 110001100
or
RGB notation for mixing Yellow, Red, Blue: 492449 (assuming 00-99 to avoid decimals)

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  • $\begingroup$ No, there's a reason I included the other 2 colours. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ Use @warspyking to notify me if you edit. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at Kevin's answer. What if you put that in the same form as your own? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking updated $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 10 '14 at 11:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Chris Sorry never noticed that comment for the longest time... The first. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 22 '14 at 23:56
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Look at Nick R's answer.

"This is on the right track, but wrong noneoftheless" - OP (warspyking)

Brown because when you mix yellow, red and blue you get brown. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120328201707AAZNGvj

Edit in response to "it's all numbers":

Nobody has a answer yet so I will continue with my logic - could be hex code, which the "#1 Techie on the Planet" would definitely know about. Is it a mere coincidence that the hex code for brown (663300) has no letters in it despite the fact that it is shown in a base 16?

The password is 663300.

Also - meta-puzzling:(if this is frowned upon please tell me - I am new to puzzling SE) The OP is a programmer (as is shown by multiple tech related SE accounts including Stack Overflow) 1 of the 7 questions he asks is on SO about contains a single line of JavaScript and a hex color code. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25584703/cannot-change-the-colour-of-html-element-with-javascript This solution seems likely to me.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope. This is not I'm the right track. Emi987 is closest atm. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 0:56
  • $\begingroup$ Also yes, I am a programmer, but usually it's in Lua. That question was when I was making a chrome extension, and had a noob problem! $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 0:57
  • $\begingroup$ I figured that the odds of having any random hex code be all numbers was: (abcdef) 9/15 - roll 6 15 sided dice and if they are all 1-9 then this is a accident (: I should have known lua typically uses RGB values... $\endgroup$ – DivideByZero Nov 10 '14 at 3:04
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If the pw is only numbers and looking at the Nick R answer..

.. the password is the values of a color on the screen in RGB. According to the text, yellow is the only one different from the classic green-red-blue, so I could suppose the password is 2552550

EDIT:

Maybe the password is too easy right now. Adding some numbers..

.. the result could be 255000000255255000000000255, the values of the R[ed]-Y[ellow]-B[lue] pixels of the screen.

Not sure about that one, it's riddling me "Unknows OS", but maybe it's just a sensation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow we're getting close! $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 0:54
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Only Columbia has a flag that is yellow-blue-red in that order.
So the password is "columbia".

There is also Equador. But with coat of arms. Try that also.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're way off. But this answer does fit the bill, but it's not the password. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 9 '14 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ By fit the bill I mean it corresponds with the hints. It is incorrect. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 9 '14 at 19:33
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In the additive colour model (which is what to expect from pixels), the colours Red + Blue + Yellow combine to form the colour White. You initially just saw this white light, before you looked at it more carefully or differently and saw the underlying pixels of red, blue and yellow.

You decide to try the password of the colour white in RGB notation, which is given by:

255255255

Or alternatively, depending on your colour mixing algorithim could yield (170,085,085) and therefore the password could be:

170085085

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If the clue is the yellow pixel, then the solution must be the computer representation of yellow. Since we know 31337 hackers would never pick a short password, it must be as long as possible, hence:

255255000

or

if they're using the CMYK scheme: 000255000

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  • $\begingroup$ We're getting very close here... $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking Mix all 3 and get 255255255? $\endgroup$ – PopularIsn'tRight Nov 10 '14 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ Nope. You're on the right track. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking last guess - FFFF00 + 0000FF + FF0000 - the FF+FF in the red value caused a buffer overflow (hacker math), yielding 00FFFF, or a password of 000255255 $\endgroup$ – PopularIsn'tRight Nov 10 '14 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ No sorry that's not it either. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 11:00
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The password was "the password", because in the last line you said he types in "the password" and got through the lock screen!

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    $\begingroup$ Could the downvoter please explain why my solution is not a possible one? $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Nov 9 '14 at 2:10
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    $\begingroup$ The answer is too facetious and smart-alecky. (For the record, I didn't downvote you.) $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Nov 9 '14 at 3:14
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    $\begingroup$ Somebody had to say it. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Nov 9 '14 at 3:28
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    $\begingroup$ Why is humor often penalized here? Even though humorous, this answer is legit. If you don't like it just don't upvote it. $\endgroup$ – Keysharpener Nov 9 '14 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ I actually just downvoted this because if it were the password, it would have quotes around it in the question: "You type in 'the password'" $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 9 '14 at 19:35
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I have a couple of ideas about this, but from my reading of the puzzle the answer should be obvious rather than an "I think this could be it" kind of response. That said, here is my response. I think this could be it.

The password is "primary". The three pixels are the primary colors and this is also the first (primary) puzzle in the series and likely the first challenge that will have to be overcome by the hacker.

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  • $\begingroup$ Smart but not quite. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 9 '14 at 19:32
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What if we concatenate the decimal representations of all three colors, in the order they appear on the screen?

  • Yellow is 2552550
  • Blue is 00255
  • Red is 25500

If each of the RBG values needs to be three digits long, the values are 255255000, 000000255, and 255000000.

So my guess is either 25525500025525500 or 255255000000000255255000000.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice answer, but how do you determine whether to put yellow first, blue first or red first in your password? $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Nov 10 '14 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ This is correct BUT it has 1 thing wrong with it. $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 10 '14 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Mew The specific order in the question is, "In fact you can clearly see that the colours are yellow, blue, red." $\endgroup$ – Kevin - Reinstate Monica Nov 10 '14 at 15:36
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Colors: {yellow, blue, red} (note all following are numbers)

Making assumption that password should be easy to remember and hard to crack with brute force most likely password would would be :

FFFF000000FFFF0000 (hackers would see F as a number).

On off chance i would want to pick a password with only numbers it would be :

101010100101010101010101

Reasoning behind my decision would be guess = what it is (cracking time with average pc):

  • 111111111111111100000000000000000000000011111111111111110000000000000000 = concatenate 24-bit RGB values as binary value (7 septendecillion years)
  • FFFF000000FFFF0000 = concatenate 24-bit RGB values as hexadecimal value (81 billion years)
  • 255255000000000255255000000 = concatenate 24-bit RGB values (7 billion years)
  • 1111111101111111111111111 = sum of 24-bit RGB values as binary value (79 million years)
  • 101010100101010101010101 = avarage 24-bit RGB values as binary value (7 million years)
  • 4722294425279902187520 = concatenate 24-bit RGB values as base 10 number (79 thousand years)
  • 570590450475625750 = concatenate start and end of color wavelength (7 years)
  • 25525500025525500 = concatenate 24-bit RGB values (289 days)
  • 1111111111111111 = bitwise and 24-bit RGB values as binary value (28 days)
  • 5702045025625125 = concatenate start and diapason of color wavelength (28 days)
  • 1feffff = sum of 24-bit RGB values as hexadecimal value (19 seconds)
  • 00FFFF = bitwise and 24-bit RGB values as hexadecimal value (0.544195584 seconds)
  • AA5555 = avarage 24-bit RGB values as hexadecimal value (0.544195584 seconds)
  • 33488895 = sum of 24-bit RGB values (0.025 seconds)
  • 0255255 = bitwise and 24-bit RGB values (0.0025 seconds)
  • 1708585 = avarage 24-bit RGB values (0.0025 seconds)
  • 602400 = concatenate hue HSV/HSL (0.00025 seconds)
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