Is this a clue for code-breaking scavenger hunt Cicada 3301?

The next installment in a mysterious scavenger hunt that's baffled the Internet may have been posted online.

Chenda Ngak Editor / CBSNews.com
Chenda Ngak is CBSNews.com's Science & Technology Editor.
Chenda Ngak
2 min read

Break out your tinfoil hats. The next installment of a mysterious code-breaking scavenger hunt may have been released on Monday.

According to contributing editors of a Wikia page on the topic, a tweet from the Twitter account that was previously associated with Cicada 3301 has posted a link to a photo on the site Imgur. There have been nearly a dozen photos claiming to be the 2014 clue for the puzzle posted on the image-sharing board 4chan over the weekend, but many have been debunked.

Like with previous years, the apparent clue is white text on a black background. This time it reads, "Hello. Epiphany is upon you. Your pilgrimage has begun. Enlightenment awaits. Good luck. 3301."

Participants in the online quest are still trying to verify any clues that come in, but the photo posted on Twitter seems to be the closest to being a legitimate piece of the puzzle.

In January 2012, a mysterious photo appeared on 4chan. It was the first known clue of the Cicada 3301 online puzzle, and it kicked off a scavenger hunt that involved online images, cryptography, number theory, physical clues, phone calls, QR codes, and Web sites on the "darknet."

Some of the theories about who is behind the puzzle include the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, or a secret society. Some have speculated that the puzzle is a recruitment program or an alternate-reality game where players collect clues, interact with other players, and solve puzzles in real life.

After a series of increasingly intricate clues, a final message was discovered on the Reddit forum called "a2e7j6ic78h0j" with the symbols and coded text that read:

We have now found the individuals we sought. Thus our month-long journey ends. For now. Thank you for your dedication and effort. If you were unable to complete the test, or did not receive an email, do not despair. There will be more opportunities like this one."
Soon after, the trail went cold and no new clues were release until a year later on this past Saturday, Jan. 4, 2013, when a new image appeared on 4chan.

A handful of Wikia contributors have already started working on possible solutions to the puzzle -- posting all clues to the game and noting which appear to be legitimate and which are likely fake.

This story originally appeared on CBSNews.com.