Mr Robot ARG/Events
San Diego Comic-Con
On the first full day of San Diego Comic-Con (July 20, 2017), attendees were exposed to promotional posters for Ecoin. These posters led players to http://e-coin.com. According to the posters and the website, Ecoin is a new cryptocurrency created by E Corp, a company in the Mr. Robot universe. By creating an account on the Ecoin website, ARG players are able to view promotional offers and enter promotional codes.
One of the Ecoin posters at SDCC had the following message:
Use Ecoin to unlock the mysteries of the universe! Don't wait - EVERY SECOND COUNTS!! EUNSLEIPGRHOTMEONCMOEDNET
By examining every second letter of the ciphertext, the following message is revealed:
USE PROMO CODE ENLIGHTENMENT
Using the promo code
ENLIGHTENMENT on the Ecoin site reveals a hidden message, advising ARG players to apply for a job at Red Wheelbarrow.
Ecoin Launch Event
On September 28, 2017, an invitation email was sent out to players subscribed to the mailing list. The invitation describes an Ecoin launch party, to be held on October 5. However, the email also contained a hidden message. The letters above each large bubble of champagne spelled out the message:
The image above spells out
SILENT SIN in Moon alphabet. After responding to the RSVP page with
SILENT SIN, the RSVP page's appearance completely changed, and displayed the following message:
Congratulations, your eyes have been opened and we now call on you to join our resistance. On October 5th, while Evil Corp is blinded by its own opulence, we will seize control of this Ecoin bacchanal and embarrass them on a global stage. These bourgeois oppressors have fashioned themselves a golden throne and placed the legs squarely on our backs. Together, we will rise up and burn that throne to the ground. Stand with us as we fight for a new tomorrow. If, and only if, you will be attending the Ecoin Launch Party in person, leave us your email below and you will be contacted by one of our operatives with your directive soon. You must enter the same email used to RSVP to the Ecoin Launch Party. Do not share this page or this message.
Players who entered their email addresses received the following email from fsociety, the underground network of hackers:
the war wages on. the sins of evil corp must be exposed. fsociety needs you at the Ecoin Launch Event. terminal 5 (605 West 55th Street between 11th and 12th) 6:15pm ask for benny the bus driver outside the service entrance. come alone. wear black pants and a white-long sleeve dress shirt. the revolution won't go down without a fight. we are fsociety.
October 4, 2017
On the day prior to the Ecoin launch event, several websites which were used earlier in the ARG were updated.
The Red Wheelbarrow site was updated with an entirely new site layout, along with a kids section. The "color by numbers" printout in the kids section contained several hidden messages.
The path traced by the butterfly is actually Morse code:
- .... . -.-- -.. --- -. - -.- -. --- .-- .-- . .- .-. . .... . .-. . -.-- . - THEY DONT KNOW WE ARE HERE YET
The numbers in the sun, when converted to letters using a simple substitution cipher, reveal the following message:
19 8 5 19 14 15 20 8 15 14 5 19 20 SHES NOT HONEST
The numbers in the butterfly's wings, when converted to letters using the same cipher, reveal the following message:
19 8 5 19 14 15 20 19 1 14 5 SHES NOT SANE
Running the file through exiftool, a thumbnail image was found.
Notable is the image in the upper left, which is a low res picture of Richard of York, shown at right. Also known as Richard Plantagenet (RP), he fought in the War of the Roses in England on the side of the White Rose, and died in battle on 30 December 1460. The date of his death and initials match the notation at the bottom of the PDF "30121460RP".
A mnemonic used to remember the colors of the rainbow, "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain", is also a hint in the puzzle number color key to the hidden image.
Nothing of interest has been found yet in the Spot the Difference PDF.
The Confictura site was also updated with a new quote in a hidden area, last accessed earlier in the ARG. The hidden quote can be uncovered as follows:
The visitor counter at the bottom can be adjusted manually by clicking on it. Setting the visitor counter to
0736565 causes the visitor counter to be replaced with a text box. Entering
blackanddeepdesires into the text box causes the Confictura page to completely change, revealing the hidden message:
If you drink much from a bottle marked “poison” it is almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later.
This message is a quote from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
(Note: the codes
blackanddeepdesires were discovered earlier in the ARG.)
Finally, using the promo code
ENLIGHTENMENT on the Ecoin site now reveals a different message than before:
to sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards out of men.
A quote often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln, but actually by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
October 5, 2017
An hour before the event was scheduled to start, ARG players boarded the fsociety bus to the Ecoin launch party. Swag bags were distributed, some of which contained a physical Snapchat Snapcode. Scanning the Snapcode led to this URL, which plays a video automatically. Different participants received different Snapcodes, which led to different videos.
In addition to the Snapcodes, some players received handwritten notes, like the one below:
As well, some players were tweeted directives by the official Mr. Robot Twitter. These directives were targeted at ARG players who had used the hashtag WeAreFSociety. Some sample tweets are listed below:
Your eyes have been opened. Go to the champagne station and find Charles. Tell him, “I am the 99%.” Our movement can’t be stopped. Go to the serving station on Floor 2 and ask for the Chef. Tell her “I am a one, not a zero.”
At 7:30 EST, the official live stream on Mr. Robot's Facebook page went live, with 360 video providing full coverage of the event. The 360 footage was interspersed with footage of 2 interviewers, one male and one female, interviewing guests at the event. Both the interviewers and guests were actors, and provided some brief exposition about E Corp and the hacker group fsociety, as well as the fictional "Five-Nine" attacks, which spurred the development of Ecoin as a cryptocurrency.
At 8:00 EST, E Corp's VP of Public Relations took the stage to welcome the attendees to the party. Shortly afterwards, the following image appeared on the livestream:
Visiting bit.ly/2yXEd2S led to a form where ARG players could fill out their mail address, along with the code
MJIPQNVS (visible in the image above) to receive an FSociety mask. Shortly after, another bit.ly link and code appeared on the screen, leading to an identical site.
At 8:30 EST, a promotional video for Ecoin was played in front of the audience, and Philip Price, the CEO of E Corp, took the stage:
What a pleasure to see such an eager crowd this evening! When I look out across this room, I see faces full of hope, unbroken by circumstance... yes, we live in dark times, because our civilization, left to its own devices, will find new ways of destroying itself. Dangerous anarchists [...] have tried and failed, to undo everything we have done - everything you have worked for. But do not despair! By joining E Corp tonight, all of you show great strength and courage - and together, with the right leadership, order and stability will be restored. That is what Ecoin is all about! This new currency, this new era, is backed by one of the most powerful entities on the planet. And E Corp is here to offer a strong hand to those in need. This new currency will unite the world as one as we move into a truly digital age. I stand before you here tonight to give you this assurance, this oath: E Corp will deliver you from this chaos! Ecoin will provide a new beginning for a new world. E Corp is, and always will be, still on your side. With Ecoin, we can now move forward <whirring noise>
Price's speech was interrupted, and glitching effects began to play on the live stream, reading "HELLO FRIEND" and "CONTROL IS AN ILLUSION". At the same time, the lights in the venue went stark red, and fsociety banners were unfurled from the balconies, as some audience members put on fsociety masks. Finally, the giant capital E suspended in the air was lowered to the ground, before the video feed was cut.