# Questions tagged [classical-cipher]

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 can frequency analysis be applied to modern ciphers?

I am building a computer program that deciphers Caesar, Vigenere and monoalphabetic substitution ciphers. All of those are susceptible to frequency analysis. However, it does not seem to be real-world ...
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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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### 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 user....
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### Solving Vigenère Encryption

I'm trying to crack a cypher that I believe is Vigenère encrypted and I'm currently stuck. I calculated the key length by finding repeated sequences in the cypher and calculating the the common ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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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### How were one-time pads and keys historically generated?

In the 20th century, it was common for various intelligence agencies and military organizations to use ciphering machines and one-time pads. However, no source I've seen ever mentions the process of ...
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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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### About Cryptography in a Character Language

Suppose I had a message in Chinese (or another non-phonetic language) and I wanted to encipher it. Some of the simplest encryptions in English are substitution ciphers, but such ciphers don't seem ...
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### 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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### 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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### Is there any quantum resistant pen-and-paper or mind cipher?

I know about VIC and Solitare but as I understand they are not quantum resistant ciphers. Is there any quantum resistant pen-and-paper or mind cipher?
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### Obtaining the key length of a columnar transposition, given a known plaintext word

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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### 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, <...
349 views

### Pen and Paper Authentication

What is the best way to prove that you wrote the encrypted message on a piece of paper? As most of us know, many conspirators have died because of false message implants, Mary Queen of Scots, for ...
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### How to find the keyword of the Playfair cipher, given the plaintext and the ciphertext?

I know how the Playfair cipher works. I would like to know how to find the keyword of the Playfair cipher, given some ciphertext and the corresponding plaintext. For example: encrypted: ...
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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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### How to determine which type of transposition cipher I have?

I have some ciphertext that I have determined using frequency analysis to be most likely encrypted using a transposition cipher, as the letter frequencies are similar to plain English language text. I ...
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### To decrypt a cipher text encrypted using keyed substitution

I'm looking for decryption of this cipher text which was encrypted using simple substitution using secret key. I have already spend a lot of time on this. However it should not be that tough. So I ...
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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 (with ...
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### Why don't homophones hide multiple-letter patterns?

I am reading about mono-alphabetic ciphers, which are prone to letter frequency analysis. To counter this, we can provide multiple substitutions, known has homophones for a single letter e.g. e could ...
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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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### 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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### Is the Caesar cipher really a cipher?

In this lecture by Dan Boneh on Coursera it was stated at minute 03:37 that The Caesar cipher, actually, is not a cipher at all. And the reason is that it doesn't have a key. What a Caesar cipher ...
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### How does the index of coincidence work in the Kasiki test?

I'm starting to learn about cryptanalysis and I am having a bit of difficulty understanding the Kasiski test's index of coincidence. I have a book (Cryptography Theory And Practice by Douglas Stinson) ...
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### 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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### Concatenating "words," is it possible to create a key that is indistinguishable from one made in a truly random manner?

By concatenating "words" and adding them Modulo 26, can a key be created that is indistinguishable from one generated in a truly random manner? Let's say the key is more than about ten ...
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