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Eon8 was an infamous Internet event lasting from December of 2005 to July of 2006. The website itself was designed to appear as mysterious and ominous as possible. The site included random strings of MD5 hash codes, a deployment map highlighting heavily populated areas, titles for what would eventually be revealed as non-existent operations, password-protected sections, and a mysterious timer counting down to July 1, 2006 at midnight. Word of the site spread quickly as denizens of the Internet immediately began theorizing as to what it was, ranging from the sensible to crazed paranoia. Viral marketing schemes, an alternate reality game, widespread release of a major computer virus, references to the Third Reich, terrorist attacks, and the end of the world as we know it were common explanations. As time grew nearer to the "zero hour" as it was known, the hysterics spread to the point that it generated a hostile reaction from some groups who tried to take down the site but all attempts ultimately failed. All of the commotion ended up catching the attention of not only the media but both the Pentagon and CIA respectively. Their presences were logged in the unapproved referrer archives which was also a significant part of the site.
When the timer ran out, it was revealed to be that of sociological experimentation. Its purpose was to study how Internet users would react to a lack of information. The experiment was claimed to be conducted by a single male who only identified himself as Mike from Florida. There were also rumors that a second male identified as Chris from Australia had some level of involvement as well. The original site was eventually replaced with pages of answers to frequently asked questions. The site's creator also conveyed disappointment that so many people automatically assumed the site had evil intentions, and reaffirmed the pattern recognition behavior the more savvy among us already knew existed. Since the end of the countdown in 2006, the website has lived on mainly as a general discussion forum covering a wide variety of topics in the same maleficent theme.