Thursday, July 20, 2006

Craigslist Phone "Numbers" Mystery Deepens

I hope everyone's still checking the "missed connections" part of Craigslist for cryptic messages to "Mein Fraulein," especially around the beginning of the month. Along with the two described in Utility World, there has since been a third one with an Atlanta, GA listing and a VoIP number, and a fourth one in early July with a Little Rock, AR listing and number. At about the same time as the fourth, a different agency copied the format, using the same song but a different message format with cut-and-pasted numbers from the first phone recordings and the obligatory Craigslist posting, this time in Boston.

It is obvious that the fast spread of Voice over IP technology, which uses the Internet like a telephone, is changing the "numbers" scene, at least temporarily. Somehow I don't see VoIP permanently replacing the anonymity and accessibility of short wave radio for deep-cover recruits in sensitive areas any time soon.

FLASH: the source of the "copycat" 5th message has revealed itself, following a successful crack of the coded numbers, which turned out to be intentionally rather lightly encrypted. It is REALLY weird, in a nice way, and not what you'd expect.

We're still at the fact-checking and research stage on these developments. Anyone with infomation is invited to contact Utility World. Details are right here.