# Tagged Questions

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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### 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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### Best modern cipher for morse code?

I am looking for a modern cipher to encode morse code, ie. input is [A-Z 0-9] (base36 as I learned in the comments below) and output is the same, one character at a ...
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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 thought....
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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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### Strategy to crack a presumed substitution cipher

The ciphertext given is: ejitp spawa qleji taiul rtwll rflrl laoat wsqqj atgac kthls iraoa twlpl qjatw jufrh lhuts qataq itats aittk stqfj cae I've done ...
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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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### How to get the keyword from a keyword cipher?

I was given a ciphertext and now I am trying to break it via looking for the keyword. This is a keyword cipher. So: PlainEnglish: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ If ...
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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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### How to decode a (Vigenère?) substitution cipher? [closed]

I am trying to decode a message that I suspect has been encrypted with a Vigenère cipher: Utl zluuocp zsc rvzu hbcp ztvibfz vrabzz utl ilry. Utlal flal cb fbaiz, qszu zbsciz. Utvu cllihl vhzb dvil ...
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### How strong can multiple encryption be?

Suppose I encrypted a homophonic substitution cipher at the level of syllables, trigrams, digraphs, and individual letter with a Vigenere cipher using the keyword cryptography. I would then encrypt ...
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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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### 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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### 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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### Ciphertext with uneven letter distribution

I have a ciphertext encrypted with an unknown method. It is part of a challenge (personal quest), so I can not post it. The letter statistics is the following: ...
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### How hard to break a cipher if it has a different key for each word?

Recently I watched the movie 'The Prestige' again but this time the cipher diary impressed me very well. I like to create my own cipher for my diary because I have some time to kill everyday after ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 search?...
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### How would multiple uses of a vigenère cipher be decrypted on paper (classic)?

As far as I can tell (from reading the Wikipedia article about it) decrypting a message encrypted with the vigenère cipher is possible on paper. But what would happen if the message is encrypted ...
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### Best non-digital cipher?

Is there an undisputed cipher that was considered the best before the computer age? (This is not suppose to be a discussion, it's either a yes or no.) Please give a brief description why it is yes ...
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### What is the viability of a hybrid vigenere cipher?

So a vigenere cipher's main weakness is that you can use frequency analysis on each alternated alphabet, and thus crack the cipher with relative ease... But that implies that you know what the ...
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### Help defining a shift cipher mathematically

For an assignment question, I am trying to prove formally that double encryption with two keys by the shift-cipher encryption function results in a shift cipher as well. If the Shift-cipher encryption ...