Elonka Dunin in the News (Page last modified, July 14, 2020)
Major Interviews / Coverage
(audio podcast) CNN / Great Big Story, July 7, 2020, Kryptos, the Uncrackable Code, 20-minute podcast with a mix of clips from the 6-minute video in 2019, plus other previously unheard items from Jim Sanborn and myself, and an update from producer Drew Beebe with new information about the NORTHEAST clue about the still-unsolved cipher on Kryptos.
(Q&A) Reddit AMA ("Ask Me Anything"), July 9, 2019, Multi-hour online conference discussing Kryptos, cryptography, game development, my life history, and other miscellany.
(article and video) Joystik Revolution, October 6, 2015, Behind the Dev – Interview with me and John Gould about the game industry in general, as well as the formation of the new studio Black Gate Games.
(videos) Black Gate Games video blogs - A series of videos from December 2014 – June 2015 (and one in October 2015), mostly with me and CEO John Gould, talking about the game industry.
(podcast) Brophisticate – August 4, 2015, A fluorescent decade on a hill [1980s podcast] – I and others are interviewed by Tim "Spun Counterguy" Buchanan about our experiences in the 1980s. Most of my memories involve Duran Duran, LOL!
(audio) Radio-Canada, CBC - The Current, December 10, 2013 Cracking the Cicada 3301 internet mystery - 18-min segment about the Cicada cipher. Joel Eriksson in the first section, then my interview starts around the 9m15s mark.
(podcast) D6 Generation, November 23, 2013, "Total Fan Girl" segment, starting at 2h7m, talking about geocaching, cryptography, and gaming
(video) Riverfront Times, June 14, 2012, The Ricky McCormick Codes Explained - 10-minute video where I ruminate about the unsolved Ricky McCormick ciphers, and give a basic crypto tutorial for creating a key alphabet
Dunin, Elonka (2009). "Kryptos: The Unsolved Enigma". in Daniel Burstein & Arne de Keijzer (editors). Secrets of the Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code Sequel. Harper Collins. pp. 319-326. ISBN 9780061964954.
Dunin, Elonka (2009). "Art, Encryption, and the Preservation of Secrets: An interview with Jim Sanborn". in Daniel Burstein & Arne de Keijzer (editors). Secrets of the Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code Sequel. Harper Collins. pp. 294-300. ISBN 9780061964954.
(television) KMOV Channel 4 News, May 4, 2009, Cracking the Kryptos Code: Three-minute interview about Kryptos, from my office in St. Charles, Missouri
(web video) How Stuff Works, 2008, "How Kryptos Works" 2-3 minute video about Kryptos. I was interviewed in my hotel room at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, 2007.
(television) PBS NOVAscienceNOW, July 24, 2007 (re-aired in August 2008), Segment on Kryptos. This is an excellent 12-minute segment explaining what Kryptos is, and the general mystery around it. If you check one video on this page, this is the one to check! :) It contains interviews with Jim Sanborn, Ed Scheidt, Jim Gillogly, and me.
(television) FOX News, July 22, 2007, (archive) Segment on the live national Sunday morning show "Fox and Friends", about the upcoming NOVAscienceNOW Kryptos show on PBS
(radio) NPR / KWMU, July 19, 2007, "St. Louis on the Air" - I was the guest on a one-hour interview and call-in radio show, on the subject of cryptography.
(podcast) Binary Revolution, Episode #156, July 11, 2006: My third time invited to be a co-host on the 90-minute program. Topics this time: Wikipedia, Treasure Hunters / Amazing Race television programs, Kryptos K2 announcement, the Da Vinci Code's Smithy Code story and related media frenzy, and a mention of my new book
Washington Post Express, May 19, 2006, "Code Warrioress - She's cracking the D.C. area's biggest secret." (WP blog, article pdf) - interview with me about Kryptos, and my code-cracking hobby
Hartford Courant, May 17, 2006, "Uncrackable code?" - about me, Kryptos, and some other famous codes
(television interview) Fox 2 News Live, May 1, 2006 (archived video) - Live television interview about Kryptos, the Smithy Code, and my book
(television interview) MSNBC - Countdown with Keith Olbermann, May 1, 2006 (transcript)(archived video) - I was one of the talking heads on an MSNBC segment about the Smithy Code story (#2 on the countdown, with Monica Novotny as interviewer). More info about the interview experience is at my blog.
Wired News, April 20, 2006, "Last Piece of the Puzzle?" - Once again, Wired News leads the way and breaks a major Kryptos story, about James Sanborn's announcement this week that there was an error in Kryptos Part 2 that changed the plaintext.
(podcast) Binary Revolution, Episode #99, June 8, 2005: My second time co-hostng a 90-minute underground web radio program. Topics: E-3, Identity Theft, Privacy, and Kryptos
Wired, January 21, 2005: Solving the Enigma of Kryptos - a high-profile article at the very hip Wired News website about my involvement with the last unsolved part of Kryptos, as well as the links between Kryptos and the bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. There are also transcripts of interviews with Kryptos sculptor Jim Sanborn, and the Kryptos code designer, Ed Scheidt. This Wired article brought in massive amounts of visits to my Kryptos webpage: About 8000 unique visitors on the first day, another 9000 or so when the article was picked up by other sites (like fark.com I think), another 38,000 when it hit Slashdot on Sunday, and then thousands more as translations or mentions of the article appeared everywhere from Japan to Holland to Argentina, and attention rippled through the respective blogospheres. Total I got about 100,000 visitors in the space of a week!
(podcast) Binary Revolution, Episode #78, January 11, 2005: I helped co-host a 90-minute web radio program. We talked about basic cryptography, and briefly touched on the PhreakNIC v3.0 Code and Kryptos.
Woman's World Magazine, March 16, 2004: Puzzled? Call Elonka - a short article about my cryptography hobby
2001 - 2002: I was involved with an investigation into a hoax report related to the Sept 11 attacks. Four articles were written about the situation. The first two were in the main Cleveland paper "The Plain Dealer", the third was a cover story in "The Cleveland Free Times," and the fourth appeared in the St. Louis alternative paper "Riverfront Times":
Plain Dealer, October 11, 2001: "His Death a Fantasy, Says Game Player"
Plain Dealer, November 16, 2001: "Online fantasy player fabricated WTC death hoax to get attention"
CourtTV, February 24, 2007, "Saturday Night Solution" - during a series of clips on that evening's subject of cryptography, there were a couple mentions of Kryptos, and a link to my website for more info. (archive)
Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter, 12/15/2003 - The well-respected cryptographer Bruce Schneier mentioned my list in the December 2003 edition of Crypto-Gram. As usual, this resulted in a slashdot-effect. Watch that counter spin!
In early 2002, I was invited to speak on cryptography at a government taskforce meeting. I went over the history of steganography, and discussed the rumors about whether or not Al Qaeda might have been using steganography to send hidden messages (I don't think they were). After I spoke in St. Louis, I found myself getting invited all over the country (including to CIA Headquarters!) to give the talk in other places. You can see the slides of my presentation here, and some of the media/links related to the talk are as follows:
Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter, 12/16/2002: Bruce Schneier, bestselling author of some major cryptography books such as "Secrets and Lies" and "Applied Cryptography", mentioned my steganography talk in the December 2002 edition of his monthly newsletter. Crypto-Gram. As a result, my site underwent the "slashdot effect", getting thousands of hits within the space of a day or so. Whee!
Inc Magazine October 1999: Simutronics made the Inc. 500! - This was a longtime dream, to get Simutronics listed in the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. In 1999, we made it. :) A second article in the same magazine talked about motivating employees, and there was a section ("The Bright Side of the Force"), on how one of the things that Simutronics did was to take everyone in the office out to see the opening of "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace." I'm not mentioned in the article, but I *am* the one that put that outing together, even though the CEO is the one that gets credit for it (funny how that works, hmm?). You can also read the company press release about the achievement.
In July 2000 I heard about an "as yet unbroken" Code that had been posted by the hacker group se2600. The code (visible at http://www.phreaknic.org/phreaknic.txt) had been unbroken since it was posted in mid-1999. I took a look at it in late July, and, with some fairly intense effort, cracked it in 10 days. :) As my prize, I won free VIP access to the group's hacker convention, PhreakNIC v4.0. That meant free hotel, free drinks, free T-shirts, etc. The Code's author, a Nashville hacker and DJ who goes by the handle of JonnyX, asked me to post an explanation of how I cracked the Code. I did so, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek "cyberpunk tutorial" fashion, over the following six weeks. The complete tutorial can be seen here.
The newer version (established in 2001 and updated from there) of the play.net website credits
1995: Volume 2, Issue 1 of the Kulthea Chronicle, an online newsletter for GemStone III, our flagship product. As near as I can tell, this particular issue was published in early 1995, back when the game was based on the Rolemaster rules from Iron Crown Enterprises, and shortly before we launched our products on America Online. We've come a long way since then. Around the time of this issue, total simultaneous usage in GemStone III was around 50-75 users on a "big" night. By 1999, we had several different games up, not just GS3, with total simultaneous usage more like 5000 users!