Rock band’s hidden hacking-themed web site will get hacked | TechCrunch


On Friday, Pal Kovacs was listening to the long-awaited new album from rock and steel giants Carry Me The Horizon when he seen a wierd sound on the finish of the report’s final monitor. 

Being a fan of fixing riddles and breaking encrypted codes, Kovacs puzzled: does this sound include a hidden message? 

His hunch led to the invention of a hidden hacking-themed web site that in some unspecified time in the future really bought hacked.

Kovacs opened the music within the audio modifying app Audacity and, as he suspected, there was certainly a spectrogram — primarily a visible illustration of the audio itself — which was really a scannable QR code. Excited, Kovacs shared his findings on the Carry Me The Horizon’s subreddit.

The QR code led to the hidden web site, which is protected by a passcode that turned out to be a quantity (93934521) written on the album cowl artwork, on the top of one of many characters, referred to as M8. This M8 character speaks in a number of the tracks, and likewise seems on the hidden website as a sort-of information.

The web site is actually an “alternate reality game,” or ARG, which bands like 9 Inch Nails have performed earlier than as a strategy to get followers extra engaged with the band’s music and lore. 

On this specific case, the sport consists of a web site the place, amongst different issues, the band uploaded some unreleased tracks, a folder protected by a “cipher,” which led to extra password protected recordsdata, extra mysteries, and extra hidden Easter eggs, a few of that are nonetheless unresolved and locked by unknown codes. 

Kovacs’ discovery launched a wild decentralized chase the place hundreds of Carry Me The Horizon followers tried to uncover all of the secrets and techniques hidden throughout the website. Days later, the followers are nonetheless at it, as the positioning’s makers add new challenges and puzzles to unravel. Followers have a devoted Discord server with round 3,000 individuals inside, and a shared Google Doc that on the time of writing is round 5,500 phrases in size. 

Maybe expectedly, on the primary day when followers discovered the positioning, somebody hacked it in an try to get forward within the recreation. This prompted the builders to quickly take the positioning down and change it with a warning, asking followers to not do precise hacking on the hacking-themed web site.

A screenshot of the warning message that the hidden site developers showed to visitors, after someone tried to hack the site.

“It appears user/s have been illicitly hacking into the M8 server to decode hidden secrets,” learn the message from M8, the album’s information, which a number of followers reported seeing in chats with TechCrunch. “It’s my duty to inform you that this behaviour is both naughty and counterproductive! You see, the whole idea of this program is to unravel the mysteries at a tantalizing pace, allowing everyone to enjoy the thrill of discovery. By bypassing the system and sharing the secrets prematurely, you’re spoiling the fun for everyone!”

It’s unclear what the builders meant precisely by hacking into “the server,” nor who was accountable. Sony Music Entertainment, the band’s report label, didn’t reply to a request for remark. 

“There was an email address found after solving a riddle on the site, we found it legitimately but when we emailed this email like the site told us to, we received a warning message saying that we had hacked it and may get blacklisted if we try again, we assume it was an old error from the first day when these hackers extracted info from the site,” xDarkMagicianGirl, the proprietor of the Discord server, informed TechCrunch. 

xDarkMagician shared a replica of the e-mail that some individuals obtained after the hacking makes an attempt. 

“So a friendly warning: your recent unauthorized access to our website has not gone unnoticed. While I admire your enthusiasm, it’s time to address the consequences of your actions. If you continue to hack into the system, you’ll be permanently blocked from accessing any part of,” the e-mail learn. 

“Let’s play fair and enjoy the journey together. After all, a little patience goes a long way in making the experience truly enjoyable for everyone. So stop being a dips—, and play fair!”

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