The research arm of the U.S. military has launched a contest for nerds “and anyone else who likes solving complex problems” to develop ways of putting shredded documents back together.
The Shredder Challenge, announced last week by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, offers a $50,000 prize for computer scientists, puzzle enthusiasts and problem-solvers who can piece together a series of shredded documents.
The competition is aimed at aiding soldiers in war zones who find pieces of torn-up paper that could contain valuable intelligence information.
Similarly, defense researchers want to understand the “vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community,” according to the DARPA website.
The challenge involves five separate puzzles created by various shredding methods and involving several documents and subject matters.
Participants must come up with the answer to a puzzle embedded in the reconstructed document. The overall winner will be determined by the difficulty and number of problems solved.
The problems, rules and registration were posted Thursday at the website, www.shredderchallenge.com.
The winner will be announced the week of Dec. 5.
Contact reporter Keith Rogers at email@example.com or 702-383-0308.