Ciphers invented before the era of computers and modern cryptographic theory. Classical ciphers typically operate on letters instead of bits and are usually designed to be implemented by hand or using simple mechanical devices.

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About Cryptography in a Character Language

Suppose I had a message in Chinese (or another non-phonetic language) and I wanted to encipher it. Some of the simplest encryptions in English are substitution ciphers, but such ciphers don't seem ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the most secure hand cipher?

By "hand cipher", I mean a symmetric cipher for which encryption and decryption can can both be performed with a pencil on graph paper, consuming about 10-20 seconds per character by a proficient ...
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2answers
417 views

Toy cipher — does it have a name?

When I was perhaps nine years, I borrowed a book from the library on various maths and CS topics. It outlined various simple ciphers, including one that I used a lot, just for fun. I can't remember ...
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3answers
2k views

How to attack a classical cipher using known partial plaintext?

I have a ciphertext generated by a classical cipher. I do not know what was cipher used to generate it. I do however have the beginning of the plaintext. What are the cryptanalysis approaches for ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Encryption/ciphers/codes in Chinese

I am quite curious as to how you can perform simple encryption for the Chinese language. Saw a similar question related to encryption/Chinese here: About cryptography in a character language, ...
6
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3answers
171 views

Good challenges for a crypto competition for teenagers

I'm holding a cryptography workshop for teenagers (around 16 years old) at our university. As part of the workshop, I'm planning to run a crypto competition with prizes: there will be different tasks, ...
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3answers
1k views

Is a book cipher provably secure?

I've seen ciphers (usually in spy drama shows) that involve taking a book and writing down an index to individual characters. Essentially it's a keyed substitution cipher, where the key is the name ...
5
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1answer
116 views

How would you encrypt-then-MAC when using pen-and-paper and a Caesar cipher?

I'll probably get shot for asking this, but I've got some kids (aged 8-10) in my neighbourhood that I've been showing/teaching the simple pen-and-paper Caesar cipher and they're successfully playing ...
5
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1answer
861 views

Example of CHI Square test on Caesar Cipher?

I am trying to get my head round the chi square test, when used with the Caesar cipher. I started off using this formula, $$ X = \sum_{i = 1}^k \frac{f_i · f'_i}{n · n'} $$ Where ...
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4answers
1k views

Assistance Cracking Classical Cipher

Below is the cipher text I am trying to break and as you can see its rather short which is why I am having so much trouble. ...
4
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1answer
99 views

Question about the definition of a perfect cipher

I need to prove that the following encryption scheme is a perfect cipher: Let $p$ be a prime. The secret key is a pair $(a,b)$ sampled uniformly at random from $\mathbb{Z}_p^* \times \mathbb{Z}_p$. ...
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2answers
1k views

How to attack a general polyalphabetic cipher?

I am able to decrypt vigenere cipher text using the index of coincidence and chi test. However out of interested how do you go about attacking ciphertext that was encrypted using a mix alphabet ...
4
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2answers
392 views

How can one break a monoalphbetic substitution chipher at pseudorandom text?

Does anybody know how to break monoalphbetic substitution cipher, if it is applied to some pseudorandom text (for example to some surrogate key filed in a database)? Let us assume that we have only ...
4
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1answer
454 views

Hill-cipher, disordered alphabet

I am going to apply a simple substitution cipher to my input, then encrypt the result with a Hill cipher. How can this be broken, in a chosen-plaintext threat model? In other words, instead of the ...
3
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6answers
952 views

Why does ROT13 provide no cryptographic security?

I can understand that ROT13 is not secure for obvious reasons, but I'm looking for the theoretical answer. Wikipedia says "The algorithm provides no cryptographic security.." What does it mean to ...
3
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2answers
401 views

security of Felix cipher

I just find this pencil and paper cipher 'Felix' and I want to know how secure it is? EDIT From http://web.archive.org/web/20110825142054/http://topcat.hypermart.net/papers/felix.txt Felix a ...
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2answers
1k views

Finding a keylength in a repeating key XOR cipher

In an old cryptography FAQ, I found the following step described for determining a the length of the key a cipher was repeatedly XORed against: Discover the length of the key by counting ...
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2answers
2k views

How many keys does the Playfair Cipher have?

I was just studying the Playfair cipher and from what I've understood, it is just a slightly better version of a Caesar cipher, in that it isn't actually mono-alphabetic but rather the 'digrams' are ...
3
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2answers
463 views

Is this hand cipher any more secure than the Vigenère cipher?

I know that inventing one's one crypto always sucks, but the problem is that hand ciphers are usually very insecure very slow. This is an attempt to make a relatively secure, keyable, and ...
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2answers
853 views

How can I break a Vigenère cipher with partial plain text?

I have an exercise to do regarding Vigenère encryption. I've got the cipher text: WNZTNVIEEGTJYKRRWYUELWNZTNV and a partial plain text: ...
3
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2answers
134 views

Is there a name for this 'enhanced' caeser shift and if so, is it trivial to break?

This cipher shifts the letter that it will shift to, after each shift... I used to play with this when I was a kid. I was thinking about it recently and realized that it wasn't as simple as I ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Cracking the Beaufort cipher

Is there any easy way to crack a Beaufort cipher? We have a Vigenère table, and are trying to guess the keyword. Any easier way?
3
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1answer
335 views

Is frequency analysis a useful tool against encryption by multiplication?

If I transform natural plaintext by: making each letter two decimal digits, considering the whole as a decimal number; multiplying by the key (some integer constant), giving the ciphertext; would ...
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1answer
1k views

How do I decrypt ciphertext with this cipher?

I have an encryption function $$E(p) = (ap + b) \mod{26}$$ where the parameters are $a=7$, $b = 10$, and $p$ is the plaintext letter. I was asked to decrypt the ciphertext ...
3
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1answer
299 views

Attacking historical ciphers methodology

It's more a theoretical question of how would you approach it. All you know about the ciphertext it's was generated with a historical cipher. The ciphertext appears to be random, BUT it's divided into ...
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1answer
1k views

Obtaining the key length from the ciphertext of an auto-encipher

I'm revising for a cryptography exam at the moment and I'm having some problems with a question. The question looks for the key length of a cipher given that the word "earthquake" appears in the ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Is there a general method to crack this type of fractionating cipher?

I've seen a few puzzles based on a type of cipher in which letters in the plaintext are substituted with groups of characters in the ciphertext. The ciphertext only uses a handful of unique ...
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1answer
172 views

Any historical accounts of cryptanalysis of Jefferson's wheel cipher?

David Kahn in his book "The Codebreakers" wrote about Jefferson's wheel cipher, saying that To this day the Navy uses it… (the book was first published in 1967) Are there any historical accounts ...
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1answer
244 views

Has there been any cryptanalysis of RC4-52?

Several websites ( such as Is there a secure cryptosystem that can be performed mentally? ) briefly mention RC4-52 as a modification of standard RC4. RC4-52 has only with 52 instead of 256 elements ...
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2answers
132 views

Can anyone tell me the name of this cipher please?

Can anyone tell me the name of this cipher please? I know it's a simple substitution cipher, I just don't know the name of it. Cipher Key: help Cipher alphabet: ...
2
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2answers
560 views

Benefit of combining classical substitution ciphers with modern cryptography

I know that a simple monoalphabetic substitution cipher is considered extremely weak, on account of linguistic frequency-analysis attacks. However, assume the following: cleartext is encrypted ...
2
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3answers
190 views

How can a Vigenère cipher be broken if the message is short?

I was watching a Stanford lecture on Vigenère cipher and in it the professor said that – to break the cipher – we assume the length of the key is known. We then break the cipher into groups of this ...
2
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2answers
454 views

Can a shift cipher attain perfect secrecy?

On a practice question for my intro cryptography exam, it asks the following: Assuming that keys are chosen with equal likelihood, the shift cipher provides:    A) computational security ...
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2answers
160 views

What is the limit of plaintext required to break the Vigenère encryption?

A theoretical question about the Vigenère cipher: Without any knowledge about the key (not even it's length) can we tell how much known or chosen plaintext is needed for the adversary to completely ...
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2answers
435 views

Can I make a cipher (ex: Vigenère) harder to break?

The Vigenère cipher can relatively easy be broken when the key size is small compared to the size of the message. One first finds the length of the key, and then uses frequency analysis to actually ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Security of permutation cipher

I would like to understand how secure the permutation cipher is. I would specifically like to understand the following concrete setup: If the alphabet is $L = \{0,1,\dots , 255\}$ and $\sigma_1, ...
2
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1answer
364 views

Using Chi-Square for Vigenère Cipher

I am writing a program which will use Chi-Square to determine which is the correct keyword for a ciphertext via Vigenère cipher. I came across a website that describes the Chi-Square statistics in a ...
2
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1answer
111 views

Solving Vignere Encryption

I'm currently trying to crack a cypher that I believe is Vignere Encrypted and I'm currently stuck. I calculated the key length by finding repeated sequences in the cypher and calculating the the ...
2
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1answer
196 views

Hill cipher cryptanalysis - known plaintext known key size

Hello I want to know how to go about this problem I know the plaintext "abcdef" and the ciphertext. The key size is 2. I really can't figure out how to find the key for decrypting and encrypting.
2
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1answer
133 views

Feasibility of using a base 26 LFSR for cryptography by hand

I have been playing with base 26 LFSRs (i.e. using the alphabet) and noticed that the XOR operation for base 26 is just the tabula recta and so can be done very quickly. This made me wonder whether a ...
2
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0answers
65 views

Is it possible to perform a rudimentary asymmetric key encryption algorithm by hand?

I have at least three, distinct motivations for having a simple way to use asymmetric key encryption by hand or without modern computers. First, I was recently demonstrating to a 12-year-old how ...
2
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0answers
111 views

Code-breaking software [closed]

Is there any (free) software available to check for standard encryption algorithms such as the Caesar cipher? Advanced encryption algorithms such as RSA, DES, AES, etc. are not necessary.
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5answers
815 views

Using one-way hash functions as the encryption method

Suppose two parties want to communicate securely with each other (Bob and Alice) using a simple messaging system in English. There are approximately 180,000 currently used words in the English ...
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2answers
101 views

Correct way to read a given permutation cipher?

In some literature I am reading – where they are explaining the permutation cipher – they have two examples, which encrypt a small block of text. But they seem to contradict each other: First ...
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2answers
258 views

What are requirements for this grille?

I'm trying to program a Cardan grille, but I can't find requirements for grille. In my case, grille is square matrix A with $N$ x $N$ size, and elements are $0$ or $1$ (where $1$ means that it is ...
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1answer
63 views

Number of different substitution alphabet ciphers possible with given conditions?

If you consider a 26 letter alphabet, and a cipher where 24 of the letters are sent to themselves, and only 2 letters switch, how many different substitution alphabet ciphers are there, and what ...
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1answer
622 views

Find the key to a Vigenère cipher, given known ciphertext and plaintext

I have the ciphertext and the plaintext. Is it possible to know the key? If not, what do I need to find it?
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1answer
248 views

What is total key space in transposition algorithms

How we can measure key space in transposition algorithms? Should we specify the method, like rail fence?
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1answer
122 views

How to solve custom made ciphers? [closed]

How would you go about solving basic custom made ciphers - e.g. one generated from this website http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Custom-Cipher-Carefully? This is solving it without knowing the method ...
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1answer
367 views

Brute forcing Cardan grille

Having a "rotating" square Cardan Grill with sides long n cells, how could i determinate the cost of a brute-force attack? How many configurations should be considered to perform an exhaustive ...