The emblem/logo of newly established United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) has something unique from the emblems of other units in US Department of Defence (DoD).
If you look carefully, you will notice a ring of mystery code "9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a" along the inner gold ring of the emblem.
Over the past few days, this code has become the hot discussion in the Internet, and also well reported in the news media. By now, the code has been cracked.
It is the MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) cryptographics hash of US Cyber Command's mission statement, which is:
USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.
In fact, the message above cannot be "decrypted" from the code itself, as MD5 is a kind of cryptographic hashing method instead of 2-way encryption. However, if you know the original text, you will get back the same code by hashing it with MD5.
One major use of MD5 is to verify the integrity of files and messages stored in the computer and/or transferred over the network. If the content is not the same from its origin, the MD5 code generated will be different. We call this unique verification code a "checksum".
Let's try yourself to generate the MD5 code for the above mission statement here. You can also try to crack it here. If you wonder how it can be cracked, just read the explanation on that webpage.