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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How secure would hand ciphers be using a Block Cipher Mode?

I've been looking into different ciphers that require very minimal computation power (calculator, deck of cards, index cards and a pencil), i.e. hand ciphers. For the most part all methods typically ...
4
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2answers
89 views

Research for video game: Novice cryptography concepts [closed]

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 ...
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1answer
97 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 ...
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2answers
104 views

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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0answers
22 views

Concatenated Key Question - Poly-alphabetic Substitution and Columnar Transposition

I am working on a degree module, and have been tasked with designing an Encryption/Decryption algorithm. I hope to receive some help with a couple of questions, if possible. Apologies if terminology ...
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1answer
53 views

VIC cipher author known?

Does anybody know if the design of VIC cipher is attributed to anybody? I've tried Google and found nothing. There are quite a few sites describing the method in detail, a few implementing it ...
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1answer
31 views

Product of Vigenère ciphers is not a Vigenère cipher with length of LCM

I have always thought that using two Vigenère ciphers leads to another Vigenère cipher with key length of LCM (least common multiple) of the two previous Vigenère ciphers. But I have stumbled upon ...
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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 ...
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0answers
32 views

autocorrelation and entropy of historical ciphers

I'm learning cryptography and come across historical ciphers such as vigenere cipher,hill cipher,random substitution and etc.I'm using cryptool for learning purposes and I have a question in mind.I've ...
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1answer
37 views

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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1answer
409 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
787 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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1answer
276 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 ...
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1answer
3k views

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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1answer
54 views

Levels of strength: The Caesar Cipher

SITREP: I am deciding what form of "Random" Number generation would fit best for a Caesar Cipher that encrypts each letter with a different integer as a shift. This encryption is being handled via C# ...
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2answers
164 views

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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2answers
291 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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0answers
36 views

Are there any historic examples of breaking the one-time pad because of a careless key re-use? i.e simple attack on a multiple-time pad?

It doesn't have be using a truly random key, (it could be the Enigma) but the attack must be based on XORing two parts of ciphertext.
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0answers
36 views

How would you name and/or describe this algorithm?

First up: this is not a decoding request or anything. This is about terminology. Twice per year, we email another department to ask for a new licence file for their software. They are always slow to ...
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1answer
268 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 ...
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4answers
703 views

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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1answer
255 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 ...
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44 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 ...
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33 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
52 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 ...
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0answers
85 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 ...
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1answer
257 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
143 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
525 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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105 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: ...
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1answer
213 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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82 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 ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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1answer
109 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 ...
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229 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 ...
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3answers
37k 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 ...
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2answers
84 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 ...
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0answers
110 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 ...
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1answer
632 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
725 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 ...
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1answer
307 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
118 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
916 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, ...
7
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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 ...
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338 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 ...
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3answers
856 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 ...
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1answer
117 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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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 ...