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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33
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3answers
93k views

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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6answers
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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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2answers
12k views

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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2answers
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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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7answers
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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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3answers
553 views

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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3answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
602 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 ...
5
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6answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
297 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 ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
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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 ...
4
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1answer
482 views

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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540 views

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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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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2answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
654 views

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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2answers
606 views

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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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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Alphabetic Substitution with Symbols

I was reading on a site about the Zodiac Killer and how he used a basic substitution cipher, but instead of substituting english letters and characters he substituted symbols. I was wondering, if you ...
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2answers
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How to attack a general polyalphabetic cipher?

I am able to decrypt Vigenere ciphertext using the index of coincidence and chi-squared test. However, out of interest, how do you go about attacking ciphertext that was encrypted using a mixed ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Example of CHI Square test on Caesar Cipher?

I am trying to get my head round the chi square test, when used with the Caesar cipher. I started off using this formula, $$ X = \sum_{i = 1}^k \frac{f_i · f'_i}{n · n'} $$ Where $...
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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2answers
6k 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, <...
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5answers
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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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2answers
204 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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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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Assistance Cracking Classical Cipher

Below is the cipher text I am trying to break and as you can see its rather short which is why I am having so much trouble. ...
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2answers
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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: ...
4
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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
186 views

Please prove distinguishability given a non-perfectly secure cipher

I'm trying to prove that a perfectly secure cipher yields indistinguishability. I already know and can prove that a perfect cipher => indistinguishability by the following proof: \begin{align} \Pr(...
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Hill cipher key space

Key space is the set of all possible keys that can be used to generate a key. We using the number of valid key to describe it. I've given a hill cipher of block size $k$ over alphabet of size $p$, ...
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3answers
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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), ...