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Boy aged 14 cracks national intelligence agency code in just over an hour

Boy aged 14 cracks national intelligence agency code in just over an hour

A 14-year-old boy has stunned officials as he cracks a national intelligence agency code in just over an hour.

A clever 14-year-old boy has cracked four levels of code on a commemorative 50-cent coin released by the Australia's foreign intelligence cybersecurity agency.

The Tasmanian boy cracked the code in just an hour, bringing shock to officials who believed they made it hard to solve.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) said that clues could be found on both sides of the coin and layers of encryption were each progressively harder to solve.

ASD's Director-General Rachel Noble spoke today at the Lowy Institute on the very talented 14-year-old who has taken everyone by surprise.

She said: "There's a challenge out there to see who can correctly break all the layers, and, would you believe it, yesterday the coin was launched at 8.45am; we put up our web form and said, 'Hey, if you think you've got the answers, fill in the form.'

"And believe it or not, a boy, 14 years old in Tasmania, was the first person in just over an hour to get all four layers right."

Noble continued: "Just unbelievable. Can you imagine being his mum?

"So, we're hoping to meet him soon ... to recruit him."

The limited-edition commemorative coin was released on Thursday (1 September) to mark the 75th anniversary of the ASD.

The new limited-edition coin was only released on Thursday.
Royal Australian Mint

Only 50,000 were minted for the occasion and was available to purchase from the Royal Australian Mint.

Ms Noble said before the 14-year-old boy broke the code that anyone that could crack it could be 'pretty well placed' to get a job at the ASD.

The director-general also said the coin celebrated the work of the agency's members and the evolution of code breaking.

She said: "We thought this was a really fun way to engage people in code-breaking with the hope that, if they make it through all four levels of coding on the coin, maybe they'll apply for a job at the Australian Signals Directorate."

Not only would the smart people who crack the code have a chance of a job at ASD, they will also 'some wonderful, uplifting messages' on the special coin.

"Like the early code breakers in ASD, you can get through some of the layers with but a pencil and paper but, right towards the end, you may need a computer to solve the last level," Ms Noble said.

The Tasmanian boy has not encrypted all the codes, though, as the director-general revealed there is a secret fifth level to the coin that no one has broken yet.

Featured Image Credit: Royal Australian Mint

Topics: Australia, News