WASHINGTON - Is it cool, or is it nerdy? You decide.
The Pentagon's new U.S. Cyber Command has embedded a 32-character string of secret code in its logo, causing a stir among bloggers and curious techies eager to decipher the veiled message.
The new military command was launched in late May to help centralize Defense Department efforts to protect its computer networks, which are under constant threat from attackers. The command was created to frustrate everyone from run-of-the-mill hackers to foreign governments looking to steal sensitive information or crash critical, life-sustaining computer systems.
A Cyber Command spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Steve Curry, said Thursday that including 32 letters and numbers in the organization's official seal was the idea of a contractor who designed the logo.
Otherwise, the command's symbol looks like a lot of other government and military seals, depicting an American eagle, stars and the globe.
Wired.com's Danger Room last week offered a T-shirt or ticket to the International Spy Museum to the first person to crack the code, which is: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a.
Curry said the characters, once decoded, represent the command's bureaucratic-sounding mission statement: "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."
Now go decipher that.