IT Security Puzzle

cryptography

To celebrate Stay Smart Online week we've create a slightly challenging crypto puzzle.  The puzzle is designed so it shouldn’t take long to complete, even if you are also dutifully attending class or work.

The encoded text below converts to a URL – by modern standards, it’s not really encrypted, merely encoded in an unusual way – which takes you to Stage Two.

The second stage is a problem involving dealing bridge hands from multiple packs of playing cards. (You don’t need to know anything about bridge, except that there are 52 cards in a standard pack, and 13 cards in a bridge hand.)

Strictly speaking, you only need to be able to add, multiply and divide to get to the end. A calculator is more than enough to solve both stages.

A prize pack of various IT related paraphernalia is up for grabs.  Everyone who solves the puzzle will have their name go into a hat for a draw at the end of Stay Smart Online week.  All solvers will also get a special mention on the IT-Sec Puzzle 'Hall of Fame'!!


REMEMBER:

  1. You are looking for a URL hidden in the encoded text below.
  2. Treat it as encoded, not encrypted.  It's encoded in an unusual way.
  3. You don't need to be able to program to solve it.
!@#!^$!$!!$&!$%)$))$#)^@)$)!@%!@@!!$)&@
)$)!%)____ ______  _____ __    __!^$!^$
!^))&/ ___|__  __||  _  |\ \  / /@)%&)%
&!^&| |___   ||   | | | | \ \/ /!^&!^&)
%^!%^\__  |  ||   | |_| |  \  /!$%!^&!$
#!$!!___| |  ||   |  _  |   | |^#!^$!%$
!$%)%\____|  ||   |_| |_|   |_|^!$%!$$!
^%)%^!$!!^%)%&!!!!@$!@#!$%!$#!@)!^%!&@!
&@!____ __  __          _____ _______%$
!$/  __|  \/  |   /\   |  __ \__   __|%
)|  |_ | \  / |  /  \  | |__| | | |$)!^
&!\__ \| |\/| | / /\ \ |  _  /  | |%!!^
$!___| | |  | |/ ____ \| | \ \  | |%))$
)|____/|_|  |_/_/    \_\_|  \_\ |_|!%%!
$!!$&!%!!$#)$)!%^!%&)%^)$))^@)^))^!)^^

Good Luck!