Old-style encryption

Brenda Fernández me at brendafernandez.com
Tue Sep 22 09:43:12 PDT 2015

This is hilarious, the illiterate developing their own cryptosystems and
getting pwned.

Not being stupid doesn't mean one has to 'know everything'*, it's knowing
what you can and what you can't do. And yes, its a requirement. Even for
criminal endeavors.

* ignorance is fine, as long as one is aware of it.

On Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 2:32 PM, jim bell <jdb10987 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> http://news.yahoo.com/italy-cracks-mafia-sheep-code-arrest-godfathers-henchmen-111947663.html
> Italy cracks Mafia sheep code to arrest Godfather's henchmen
> By Ella Ide 1 hour ago
> Rome (AFP) - Italian police on Monday arrested 11 suspects linked to the
> fugitive head of the Sicilian Mafia, including a former boss who ran a
> secret message system for the mobster using a sheep-based code.
> Matteo Messina Denaro, 53, who has been on the run since 1993, used a farm
> in Mazara del Vallo to communicate with his henchmen via the aged-old
> method of "pizzini", bits of paper containing messages often written in
> cipher, police said.
> Among those arrested was former boss Vito Gondola, 77, whose job it was to
> call the clan members to alert them to each new message, which was placed
> under a rock in a field at the farm and often destroyed on the spot after
> reading.
> "I've put the ricotta cheese aside for you, will you come by later?" he
> would say on the telephone -- a phrase investigators said had nothing to do
> with dairy products.
> "The sheep need shearing... the shears need sharpening" and "the hay is
> ready", were among other code phrases used to alert the gang to a new
> message, written on tightly folded bits of paper wrapped in Sellotape and
> then hidden in the dirt.
> The police investigation, which followed the passing of messages between
> 2011 and 2014, used hidden cameras and microphones around the farm near
> Trapani in western Sicily to follow the movements of the clan -- and
> discover Denaro's fading glory.
> View gallery
> Gondola is caught in one conversation telling another mobster that Denaro
> -- once a trigger man who reportedly boasted he could "fill a cemetery"
> with his victims -- was losing control over the latest generation of
> criminals, who "disappear without saying anything".
> - 'State win, Mafia loses' -
> Three of those arrested were over 70 years old.
> The only known photos of Denaro date back to the early 1990s. He is
> believed to be the successor of the godfathers Toto Riina and Bernardo
> Provenzano, who are both serving life sentences, but less is known about
> him.
> At the height of his power he had a reputation as a flashy, ruthless
> womaniser who ruled over at least 900 men with an iron fist.
> View gallery
> The 11 suspects arrested "were the men who were closest to Denaro right
> now," said police official Renato Cortese, adding that it was "too early to
> say" whether the sting would help investigators close in on the fugitive.
> Prime Minister Matteo Renzi thanked the investigators in a message on his
> Facebook page, saying onwards all, to finally capture the super-fugitive
> boss," insisting "Italy is united against organised crime" despite a recent
> slew of corruption scandals in the country.
> "The state wins, the Mafia loses," Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said
> on Twitter.
> Gondola, who despite his age rose every morning at 4 am to tend to his
> flock, is believed to have once been a right-hand man to Riina. In the
> 1970s he belonged to a gang used by the Mafia to carry out kidnappings,
> according to Italian media reports.
> The Sicilian Mafia, known as "Cosa Nostra" or "Our Thing", was the
> country's most powerful organised crime syndicate in the 1980s and 1990s,
> but has seen its power diminish following years of investigations and mass
> arrests.
> It also faces fierce underworld competition from the increasingly powerful
> Naples-based Camorra and Calabria's 'Ndrangheta.

Brenda Fernández
me at brendafernandez.com
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