Cryptogeddon Newsletter – September 20, 2013

Welcome to the first official Cryptogeddon Newsletter!

Here’s what I’ll be covering in this newsletter:

  • Soft Launch Summary
  • Mission 1 Feedback
  • Request for Additional Feedback
  • Status of Mission Pack 2
  • In the News
  • Upcoming appearances

Soft Launch Summary:

First of all, thanks to everyone that has purchased Mission Pack 1. Your interest in Cryptogeddon is appreciated. I am thankful to you for your interest. I hope you are enjoying Mission Pack 1 and I hope you’ll come back for additional Mission Packs in the future.

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks since I first launched Cryptogeddon. The site officially went live on Wednesday September 11. I turned it on and shared the link with my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Within a few hours, I started to get some traffic and my first official sale occurred on launch day at 3:10pm! I’ve read before that the first sale is the best one, and that is absolutely true!

I didn’t know what to expect when I launched the site, but to have my first sale on day 1 was quite exciting. I’ve had consistent sales and traffic every day since then. This is great news, as it reinforces my motivation to build additional missions as quickly as possible and to make them as good as possible.

My first few sales were from European customers, primarily in Germany. I was initially puzzled by this as I suspected a common link amongst these customers, but I didn’t know what that common link would be. After a bit of research, I discovered that a German blog called heise Security ( made mention of my site in a weekly update ( to their readers. Google Translate was fantastic in helping me understand what the blog post said: “Some solve in their free time crossword, the other hacking challenges. In the latter distribution has Cryptogeddon specialized. So far, one finds there though only a mission pack, but the offer is to be gradually expanded.” Thanks to heise Security for the mention! I really appreciate it!

Mission 1 Feedback:

Thank you to everyone that has submitted feedback pertaining to Mission 1. Based on the feedback, it would appear that the mission was solid. A couple of minor issues were uncovered, which I have now corrected in an updated Mission 1 package. Anyone that purchased Mission 1 should have received an email letting them know where to download the updated Mission Pack.

There were 3 key pieces of feedback that I have incorporated:

  1. Put the “STOP READING – SPOILER ALERT!” on a separate page so that the reader doesn’t accidentally skim the page and spoil any surprises.
  2. Mission 1 told participants to post their questions on the “Mission Pack 1” page. The Mission Pack 1 page doesn’t allow comments, so I have moved this to the FAQ page instead.
  3. The links in the table of contents didn’t work. For now, I’ve removed the hyperlinks. I’ll re-add them in future if I can find a suitable method.

Request for Additional Feedback:

I am grateful for your interest in Cryptogeddon and I welcome any feedback that you might be able to offer. There are 3 ways you can do that:

  1. Submit your feedback on the FAQ page:
  2. Complete a feedback survey:
  3. Email me directly at toddhdow [at] gmail [dot] com;

If you don’t mind, I would appreciate some feedback via the feedback survey:

Status of Mission Pack 2:

I am just putting the finishing touches on Mission Pack 2. The official title is “Cryptogeddon Mission Pack 2: Protect SCADA Secrets”. Some of the key tools and concepts in this mission will be the use of Amazon Web Services (ec2), WordPress, steganography and geo-location. Mission Pack 2 will be available on by Tuesday September 24 at the latest. I expect it’ll be ready for purchase sometime this weekend. Keep checking back!

In the News:

Software Hamilton posted a recent interview that I did with Kevin Browne. In the interview, I talk about infosec, I introduce Cryptogeddon and I talk about some of the challenges that came with building this project.

German blog heise Security mentioned Cryptogeddon in their weekly summary for September 13.

Upcoming Appearances:

I’ll be speaking at a couple of events in the near future:

Both DemoCamp and Sector will be great events. I encourage you to attend and to say hi to me at the events.

Thanks again for your support of Cryptogeddon. Keep an eye out for Mission 2, coming soon!



By Todd Dow

Author, Geek, CF fundraiser & Cancer Survivor. My family, baseball, infosec, privacy & devops are a few of my favorite things.

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