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This is a bit contrived, because you have given the correct answer to your test: WHATANICEDAYTODAY was the plain text and the key is crypto. However, it shows one way to attack a short Vigenère cipher, where you have a message only a few times longer than the key. I made the following assumptions: Plain text was a short English text The key was a ...


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For breaking a Vigenere cipher by frequency analysis the length of the cipher text alone is not the crucial part. What really matters is the proportion cipher_text_len/key_len, as this indicates how many characters of the clear text are encoded by the same character of the key. For the example you provided this proportion is below 3. Frequency analysis ...


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If the message is shorter than the key, then the Vigenere cipher is essentially the one-time pad, which is unbreakable for a random key. If the key is not random, then you may get some information on the plaintext.



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