One player plays the Evil Mastermind (that's me) who nukes the states of the USA 3 at a time, the other players play Hackers who seek to stop the Evil Mastermind. Anyone can join in at any time as a Hacker.
The Evil Mastermind plays by posting commands which activate missile strikes. Each command has a unique password, which is derived from the command by a hashing algorithm. The Evil Mastermind devises a different algorithm at the start of each game, and posts the passwords along with the commands. The Evil Mastermind wins the game if he is able to post all the 50 commands.
The Hackers will see the commands and passwords in the thread and from this they should try to deduce the hashing algorithm. The Hacker who does this first, and correctly figures out the password to the command "ABORT", stops the Evil Mastermind and wins the game.
Since hashing algorithms can be exceedingly difficult to crack, there are restrictions placed on the kind of algorithm that the Evil Mastermind is allowed to use:
The Evil Mastermind posts 3 commands at a time, with their passwords. The interval for doing this is undefined, no point in imposing restrictions. The Evil Mastermind chooses the commands. Hackers can also request specific states as the Evil Mastermind next targets, if they hope to get more information about the algorithm through these states' passwords.
Each Hacker may make one guess at the password for "ABORT" each time the Evil Mastermind posts commands. If someone makes multiple guesses in between clues, only the first one counts, but if they make a mistake and correct it, the Evil Mastermind can accept the correction. More than one Hacker can make guesses in between Evil Masterminds attacks and the Evil Mastermind is forced to acknowledge and respond to all the input (limited to 1 per Hacker).
There is no need for spoilers when guessing the password, although please use spoilers if you reveal the algorithm. Hackers can cooperate in the thread and share what they figured out so far with the rest of the community, but only if they use spoilers!.
The first Hacker to get the password for "ABORT" wins. The Hacker that stops the Evil Mastermind can choose to share his credit with other Hackers if he acknowledges being helped by others' findings.
Alternatively if you've cracked the algorithm you can just use it to blow up more states if you're that way inclined (**per original Evil Mastermind's rules!) instead of posting the "ABORT" command. A successful input of a batch of 3 states (which were not played before) grants you the title of Evil Mastermind Apprentice. The game continues until either the states are finished or a Hacker inputs the "ABORT" command.
There are 51 commands, these being the names of US states (used by the Evil Mastermind to nuke each state), plus the word "ABORT" (used by Hackers to stop the Evil Mastermind). All commands and passwords are UPPERCASE.
This game thread continues the tradition of the other games, but it is not directly related to any of them.
Each challenge is a new independent algorithm. However, you can read and try for yourself any of the previous challenges: