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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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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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 ...
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558 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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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, ...
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373 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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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 ...
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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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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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156 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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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: ...
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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. ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
497 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
588 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 ...
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269 views

How does cryptanalysis of the Playfair cipher work?

I have a set of Playfair-enciphered data that I'm trying to crack without the key. I know I need to analyse bigrams; I've currently worked out what decrypts to th, ...
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Would the encryption of bigrams and trigrams weaken the code?

Supposing a rotor machine of the 1940s or 50s, with 36 characters instead of 26. Would the encryption of the ten additional characters as the most frequent bigrams or trigrams weaken the code? What ...
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Looking for C++/Python Open Source code library for cryptanalysis of classical ciphers [closed]

I've done a significant amount of coding over the years working on classical ciphers (e.g., Chaocipher, D'Agapeyeff). My main programming languages today are C++ and Python, although there was a time ...
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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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561 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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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?
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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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Do hand-based hash functions / MACs exist?

Is there research on a hash function or a MAC that can be executed without computers? I know there's a lot of history on hand-based ciphers and the OTP can easily be excecuted by hand. (By using ...
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1answer
146 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
192 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 ...
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226 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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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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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: ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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1answer
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Perfectly secure shift cipher

Prove that if only one character is encrypted using a shift cipher, then the shift cipher is perfectly secure. I want to show that $P(P=p | C=c)=P(P=p)$. But I don't know how to relate. Can anyone ...
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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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 ...
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599 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
159 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, ...
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1answer
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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.
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1answer
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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 ...
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What is the keyspace of ROT-13?

Today I was having a discussion with my cryptography lecturer about the keyspace of a ROT-13 cipher. He argues that the keyspace is 0 because it doesn't have a key. Could anyone explain to me why the ...
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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 ...