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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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 ...
3
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2answers
54 views

Research for video game: Novice cryptography concepts [on hold]

I'm making a video game which has some basic cryptography as a main base for puzzle design. I'm hoping players will get great puzzle challenge and learn a few cryptography concepts through playing the ...
8
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1answer
204 views

Why was the Navajo code not broken by the Japanese in WWII?

In reading about this topic recently, to my understanding, the encryption schemes used on top of the Navajo language were very simple and definitely could have been broken (my research shows they ...
2
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2answers
233 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 ...
-2
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0answers
33 views

emulation of a one-time-pad based on multiple keys of running cipher

a one-time-pad cipher is one that uses a long "truly" random key that is as long as the plain text message. the key must be only used once. the key must not be derived from pseudo random number ...
0
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0answers
31 views

Solving ADFGVX decoding with only ciphertext

Hi I'm new to the world of crypto and I'm trying to decode a message. I know it is encrypted using the ADFGVX cipher. I also have a ciphertext, but I have no other information given to me. My question ...
2
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1answer
235 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 ...
0
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0answers
30 views

How to calculate unicity distance of Fleissner grille?

I need to calculate unicity distance of Fleissners grille of $M \times M$ size. All I know is that plaint text redundancy equals $2$. The alphabet is not specified. Is it possible to calculate its ...
5
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1answer
231 views

Affine Cipher over an Affine cipher

I would like to know your view about the title, encrypting a plain text with an affine cipher then encrypting that ciphertext once more using the same cipher, but of course different keys. Would it be ...
18
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2answers
3k views

What are the main weaknesses of a Playfair cipher, if any?

What are the main weaknesses of a Playfair cipher, if any? I know that they depend on none of the letters missing, but that is an easy fix if a letter gets dropped. Besides that, are there any other ...
2
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4answers
3k 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 ...
1
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1answer
42 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
62 views

Comparison Vigènere vs. Monoalphabetic cipher

I have a question for a class of secure communication, but I have no idea about how to proceed in order to answer it. I'll be very grateful to whom replies to me. Assuming that brute force attack ...
4
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1answer
240 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 ...
3
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2answers
105 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
481 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 ...
8
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2answers
94 views

Historic Authentication Schemes Before Computers

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently ran an article about an alleged near miss with rockets in 1962, which raises some interesting cryptographic questions: ...
3
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1answer
202 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?
4
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2answers
78 views

How were semagrams encrypted in the pre-digital era?

Historically messages in languages that use alphabets have been encrypted manually according to some kind of algorithm (e.g. mono- and poly-alphabetic ciphers). But how wew messages encrypted in a ...
1
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1answer
73 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Breaking a Modified Caesar Cipher

Does anyone know of an efficient way of breaking a modified Caesar cipher (where the key is a set of numbers (the amount of shift) that is repeated throughout the plaintext, e.g. {1,2,3,4,5}) via ...
5
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0answers
142 views

How to break a columnar transposition cipher?

I'm currently studying for a cryptography exam. I've been given ciphertext that has been encrypted by a columnar transposition cipher. I've been given no shift key length or key word, the only thing I ...
9
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3answers
32k views

Possible ways to crack simple substitution 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 ...
3
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2answers
76 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
85 views

How secure is this modified Bazeries Cylinder?

This device is a modification of the Bazeries cylinder, it has two stacks of 5 rotors which each bear two alphabets plus numbers 0-9, one in correct order and one in random order ( 36 characters in ...
4
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0answers
106 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
586 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 ...
11
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1answer
697 views

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 ...
6
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5answers
3k 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 ...
2
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1answer
277 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
114 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
535 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, ...
8
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3answers
3k 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 ...
4
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0answers
278 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
158 views

Affine cipher: calculate the key from a known plaintext/ciphertext pair

Suppose I have a ciphertext that I know is encrypted using an affine cipher in $\mathbb{Z}_{26}$. The plaintext begins with es and the corresponding ciphertext is ...
6
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3answers
827 views

Is the logic for how the enigma machine worked documented somewhere?

I know that there is a formula to calculate the result of any input but is the logic of how the machine actually worked documented? I have seen schematics for the circuitry and even a how to make ...
0
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1answer
108 views

Which algorithm can be performed by humans?

Suppose I want my grandmother to perform encryption without any help from a computer, and she must encrypt the word 'HELLO' for me. I could ask her to instead of typing the real keys, that she always ...
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2answers
212 views

Is the complexity of Caesar (shift) ciphers “n * n!”?

Can we say that any shift cipher to be decrypted needs an algorithm of complexity “n * n!”? (where n is number of possible ...
0
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3answers
1k views

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
145 views

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 ...
-1
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1answer
86 views

Is the Vigenère Cryptosystem malleable? [closed]

Is the Vigenère Cryptosystem malleable, and how can we prove that it is (or it is not) malleable?
1
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1answer
235 views

For calculating the index of coincidence for each sequence

I was learning about the finding the key length reading the following web site... http://practicalcryptography.com/cryptanalysis/stochastic-searching/cryptanalysis-vigenere-cipher/ and I really don't ...
10
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3answers
5k 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 ...
1
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1answer
313 views

Monoalphabetic cipher key

I'm new to cryptography and have just completed homework on Monoalphabetic cipher. I managed to decrypt the cipher text successfully but I cannot identify the key from my plaintext to ciphertext ...
0
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2answers
302 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
180 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
6
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3answers
486 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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1answer
347 views

Decrypting an Affine Cipher with known characters

I am trying to cryptanalyse multiple cipher–texts that I know are encrypted by different Affine ciphers. I have already analysed the frequency that each character occurs, and compared it to a ...
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1answer
136 views

Help deciphering caesar cipher [closed]

I have to to find the shift value and the message for the following caesar cipher. OC_VAWDGPM_VHWTVX_VXJOCVZ_GDX_MWO_VWIZVYGWIZ_NODI_ I have already tried it and with the shift value of 21 i get the ...