It has been predominantly impossible to guess and crack any scratch card code by chance, but not to one IT guru. At a time when the purchasing phone credit scratch cards is now common in every high day and holiday, he has discovered a simple mathematical formula that could break the Safaricom scratch card codes which could earn you free airtime.
Based on an analysis of a collection of 448 Safaricom scratch cards, Chris Orwa a software engineer has recently informed followers on his blog that he noticed a trend that the 16 digit scratch card’s hidden codes followed. In his analysis, he found that the digit codes introduced a weakness in the scratch card security that could reveal the hidden reload number code.
Yet, nearly two years ago, Safaricom extended its scratch card digit code from 12 digits to 16 in order to increase the computational time required to break the code, making it more secure, noted Orwa. But while the new system reveals a number of drawbacks based on his analysis, the mobile phone airtime service company may need to turn back.
Statistics show that at least one in three Kenyans owns a mobile phone with the figure expected to rise as ICT spreads to rural areas. More so, over a span of 10 years, mobile phone penetration has risen to 89 per cent service coverage nationwide and over 10 million estimated subscribers according to CCK, despite the Kenya Bureau of statistics stating that four in ten Kenyans currently live below the poverty line surviving on less than one US dollar a day.
Thus, cracking a mobile phone scratch card code could spell huge profit losses in the airtime service industry, yet be a fete for those living on less that KSh89 a day. For instance if one in three Kenyans attempted to discover the hidden code of any Sh100 scratch card, companies would risk losing at least KSh130 million in a day. With that effect, strict safety measures have been placed to protect the secret codes, occasionally leading to a fine if one tried to “guess” or “crack” any hidden code by chance.
Nevertheless, in the zealous software engineer’s analysis, a few assumptions that led him to draw conclusions that supported his theory of having the ability to break the hidden Safaricom scratch card codes, were formulated.
Based on Orwa’s assumptions, by understanding that each digit has relevance to its position, he created a data set with 16 variables, each holding the positional value of the digits in addition to a column that indicated the sum of the digits.
In his analysis, mapping the total figures of the digits showed that the digits were actually randomly selected. However, he discovered that within the digits was a pair that was linearly or otherwise dependent. Thus with the help of some software, he did an analysis using an algorithm that brought him closer to his conclusions.
From his results, he discovered a relationship between the third and sixth digit was based on a linear equation, concluding that if the third number in the scratch card is greater than zero, then the sixth number is the third number minus one. While if the third number is zero, then the sixth number would be nine. However, while he has only discovered a trend of the third and sixth digit, he and many others IT or mathematicians are yet to discover the hidden code trend of the remaining 14 digits.
However, his new discovery has generated mixed reactions on social media, with many stating that it’s all a hoax, as a few swear that trying to crack the hidden codes could have your phone blocked.
But for those keen on understanding Mr. Orwa’s new mathematical formula, details of his analysis are posted on http://blackorwa.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/breaking-safaricom-scratch-card-code/