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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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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278 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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148 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
311 views

Autocorrelation in Autokey

I know that Vigenère can broken using auto-correlation (as explained at cryptool-online.org). Now my question is: Why does this also work with autokey (tested it using crypttool)? To prove that I ...
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265 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 ...
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1answer
219 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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741 views

Hill cipher key space

Key space is the set of all possible keys that can be used to generate a key. We using the number of valid key to describe it. I've given a hill cipher of block size $k$ over alphabet of size $p$, ...
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555 views

Is Chaocipher a secure cipher under ciphertext-only attack?

Chaocipher was invented by John F. Byrne in 1919. The algorithm was recently revealed – see Moshe Rubin's Chaocipher Revealed, the Algorithm (PDF). While a known plaintext attack successfully finds ...
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303 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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2k 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.
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107 views

How has the “power” of cryptography evolved from its beginnings till today? [closed]

I'm looking for a historical overview for the change in cryptographic power, which I hereby define as How far state-of-the-art cryptography is ahead of state-of-the-art cryptanalysis. In other ...
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189 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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183 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: ...
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1answer
4k 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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2answers
196 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 thought....
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121 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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172 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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1answer
233 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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437 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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818 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 hole)...
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5answers
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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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1answer
92 views

Different patterns of different paterns, wildcard [closed]

I'm not realy experienced with programming and such but I am wondering if the following could be implemented in, lets say, python we have the following ciphertext sequence ...
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1answer
217 views

Are there any good examples of Contemporary Mechanical Cryptography?

Are there secure mechanical cryptosystems in use today? Not necessarily alphabetic either, ie digital but mechanical?
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524 views

Four-Square cipher and its keyspace

Am I thinking about this correctly? Consider that the keyspace of the Playfair cipher is equivalent to all permutations of the alphabet, e.g. the number of distinct permutations of 25 objects, and ...
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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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784 views

Can two cipher letters per plaintext letter easily defeat character frequency analysis?

For a class 5 years ago I wrote a paper about "defeating character frequency analysis by using two cipher letters per plaintext letter" (jamesjava.blogspot.com/2009/08/defeating-character-frequency-...
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How to build an electro-mechanical public key cipher machine?

It is generally assumed that asymmetric encryption schemes were invented in 1973 at GCHQ in Britain and, independently, in 1976 at the MIT. Imagine, if the abstract idea of having a public key and a ...
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Knowing the key, how do I decrypt the affine 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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671 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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642 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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2answers
716 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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420 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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277 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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What are some approaches to attack an triple key polyalphabetic cipher when the IV key and PT key are known?

The cipher is an triple key polyalphabetic cipher also known as an Quagmire IV by the ACA. An example would be here: Quagmire IV example and info (pardon the ads) I posses the IV key and the PT key. ...
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885 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 ...
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Kryptos : K1. What is the origin of the “palimpsest” keyword?

I'm studying the Kryptos sculpture with its cryptographic puzzles K1 to K4. I understand that the keyword "palimpsest" was reverse-engineered using the tableau (and brute-force computer processing), ...
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2answers
919 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 (...
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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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3answers
2k 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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4answers
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Cracking WWII-era codes - code found on a pigeon's leg in Surrey

A recent BBC article entitled WWII code 'may never be cracked' posted a code: AOAKN HVPKD FNFJW YIDDC RQXSR DJHFP GOVFN MIAPX PABUZ WYYNP CMPNW HJRZH NLXKG MEMKK ONOIB AKEEQ WAOTA RBQRH DJOFM TPZEH ...
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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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2k 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: ...
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How weak/strong is this hand cipher? (updated) [closed]

In simple steps here the system: first write text. hand cipher then divide into groups of three letters: han dci phe r then choose a key consisting of three letters, for example ...
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417 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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Possible ways to crack simple hand ciphers

We had a quiz in class today where we had to break the ciphertext with the key given, but not the algorithm. Suffice to say that I wasn't able to decrypt it within the allotted time of 12 mins and ...
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5k 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 ...
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2answers
776 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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813 views

Cryptanalysing Affine cipher

I am trying to cryptanalyse a cipher–text encrypted by Affine cipher. The encryption formula is: $c = f(x) = (ax+b)\bmod m$, where $a$ and $b$ are unknown constants; $x$ is a plain-text symbol, and $...
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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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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 ...