# 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.

43 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
95k 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 ...
20k 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 user....
1k 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 ...
2k views

### 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 ...
6k 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 ...
13k 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 ...
6k 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 ...
13k views

### 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 ...
660 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 ...
1k 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 ...
5k views

### 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 ...
312 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 ...
4k views

### 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 ...
13k views

### 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 ...
6k views

### 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 ...
218 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 ...
232 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 ...
564 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?
8k views

### 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 ...
828 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 ...
1k views

### 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 ...
23k 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 ...
15k views

### 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) ...
3k views

### 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 ...
4k 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 ...
8k views

### 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 ...