GCHQ, the British governments department that listens to electronic communications decided to try it’s hand at social media and launch an online competition to recruit the people who can solve the codes.
When I looked at it, I had about as much success as when i sat their written exam 20 years ago, i.e. nothing.
Out of curiosity, I used the site: command in Google to see what pages were visible and as you can see from the screenshot, the confirmation page is available.
How did this happen?
Looking at the source code, there is no link to the soyoudidit.asp page, so it’s possible that the Google indexed the page before the page was locked down.
How could you solve this
You don’t necesarily want to put the page in your robots.txt as people can look at this so
- Lock the page down so that it can’t operate as a standalone page
- I.e it can only appear if the correct code is entered
- Use Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster to exclude the results from the site
It strange that GCHQ who are experts at electronic communication and data analysis have failed to add any analytics such as Google Analytics.
Without tracking they won’t be able to tell
- Which sites and social networks sent the most people
- People who used Google to try and hack the puzzle
- People who landed directly on the soyoudidit.asp and therefore didn’t solve the puzzle
We’ve emailed GCHQ to let them know about this and it’ll be interesting to see if we get a response.
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