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
90k 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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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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Can an Enigma-style cipher of sufficient complexity be considered secure today?

Regarding the German Enigma machines, if I recall correctly, the reason they were defeated was because the Allies were able to generate a massive database of possible rotor settings, and because the ...
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10k views

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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Creating your own encryption and decryption algorithm

I'm very uneducated when it comes to cryptography. I have tried to find an answer to my question, but what I've read doesn't quite cover what I'm asking. I have thought up my own encryption algorithm ...
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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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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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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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Encryption/ciphers/codes in Chinese

I am quite curious as to how you can perform simple encryption for the Chinese language. Saw a similar question related to encryption/Chinese here: About cryptography in a character language, ...
13
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541 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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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 ...
11
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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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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 ...
10
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1answer
290 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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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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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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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: After the usual time-check and ...
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Toy cipher — does it have a name?

When I was perhaps nine years, I borrowed a book from the library on various maths and CS topics. It outlined various simple ciphers, including one that I used a lot, just for fun. I can't remember ...
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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 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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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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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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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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
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How to deduce enigma settings given a partial plaintext?

Assuming some large block of text is encrypted with an enigma machine and I only know a small subset of letters before and after encryption, how do I go about figuring out the enigma settings from ...
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Using a mono-alphabetic substitution cipher with a different language per word

How much harder is it to determine the secret key for a mono-alphabetic substitution cipher, if each word is translated into a different language before the cipher is applied? If somehow computers ...
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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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977 views

Good challenges for a crypto competition for teenagers

I'm holding a cryptography workshop for teenagers (around 16 years old) at our university. As part of the workshop, I'm planning to run a crypto competition with prizes: there will be different tasks, ...
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1answer
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Does adding more characters to the Enigma rotors improve crypto strength?

This seems like an obvious question but I haven't been able to find it, so here goes: Enigma is based on an alphabet of A-Z (26 characters); obviously this directly affects message content (e.g. ...
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1answer
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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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How did the cryptographers of Bletchley Park figured out the chi stream of the Lorenz cipher?

How did the Bletchy Park code breakers figured out the chi stream of the Lorenz cipher, that was obscured in the cipher text, which Britain code breakers eventually decoded. It's written in The ...
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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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2answers
604 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
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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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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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Is this hand cipher any more secure than the Vigenère cipher?

I know that inventing one's one crypto always sucks, but the problem is that hand ciphers are usually very insecure very slow. This is an attempt to make a relatively secure, keyable, and modular ...
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Can I make a cipher (ex: Vigenère) harder to break?

The Vigenère cipher can relatively easy be broken when the key size is small compared to the size of the message. One first finds the length of the key, and then uses frequency analysis to actually ...
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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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1answer
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Question about the definition of a perfect cipher

I need to prove that the following encryption scheme is a perfect cipher: Let $p$ be a prime. The secret key is a pair $(a,b)$ sampled uniformly at random from $\mathbb{Z}_p^* \times \mathbb{Z}_p$. ...
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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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Mathematical structure for Sbox

Recently, when I studied the permutation cipher, I saw a matrices structure which is same as permutation cipher. This method was so simple and interesting for me. Let $m$ be $n$-bit plain text and $P=...
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1answer
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What methods allow us to determine the language used in a monoalphabetic substitution cipher?

Working on a cipher (which I assume to be a mono-alphabetic substitution cipher due to the letter frequency) I struggle with the fact that I don't know which language the plain text is written in. ...
5
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1answer
356 views

Is there a general method to crack this type of fractionating cipher?

I've seen a few puzzles based on a type of cipher in which letters in the plaintext are substituted with groups of characters in the ciphertext. The ciphertext only uses a handful of unique ...
5
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1answer
119 views

In cryptography, what is “fractionation”?

I understand how fractionation is used in the straddling keyboard, which is an important feature of the VIC Cipher, and in the Polybius Square of the ADFGVX cipher, but I am not sure how to describe ...
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1answer
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What are Alternatives to basic ROT-n Ciphers which Don't Lose 'Context'?

I've got this neural network running like a champ on my machine. The data is concatenated works of shakespeare in a plaintext file. RNN trains on the data, then gives you a 'sample', aka it tries to ...
5
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1answer
335 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 ...