Moderator: mosher

jdege
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jdege
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August 11th, 2009, 3:45 am #11

Gerry StPierre wrote:Unfortunately I don't have enough time to spend on this (or any other) hobby!
No one ever does.
When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl.
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nullsole
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August 12th, 2009, 2:32 pm #12

What a great list! I have all (and then some) except for Cryptologia journal (can't afford the sub just now) but did want to mention one that wasn't listed - Solving Cipher Problems: Cryptanalysis, Probabilities and Diagnostics by Frank W. Lewis (aka MASTERSON).

Mr. Lewis goes over most of the ciphers from the ACA and includes lots of personal history and even photos. He was hired by Mr. Friedman and worked along with him Rowlett, Sinkov and Kullback. Mr. Lewis shares some interesting insights and experiences in the book.

The book is still in print and available through Aegean Park Press and in many libraries.

Welcome to the group!
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mosher
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mosher
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August 13th, 2009, 7:20 am #13

Hi nullsole,

You are "spot on" with Frank W. Lewis's "Solving Cipher Problems: Cryptanalysis, Probabilities and Diagnostics"! Although seeing the book over the years in the Aegean Park Press catalog, I was not aware of the splendid and rich material within. A few weeks ago I learned of its contents, have mended my errant ways, and intend to order it in the very near future. Thank you for adding this excellent book to the list.

Moshe
Last edited by mosher on August 13th, 2009, 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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cmdline
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August 16th, 2009, 3:45 pm #14

If anyone is interested, here is a copy of Parker Hitt's "Manual for the Solution of Military Ciphers", which Bryne used for Exhibit 3. http://www.archive.org/details/manualfo ... 00hittrich
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mosher
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August 21st, 2009, 12:23 pm #15

Hi cmdline,

I just returned from a week's vacation with the family and read your posting now.

Many thanks for the link to Hitt's book -- always valuable. What was new to me was the www.archive.org site with its on-line documents. I searched for "cryptanalysis", "cryptography", etc. and found two classical items of interest: FYI, look at the end of Langie/Macbeth for a test message created by J.C.H. Macbeth. Is anyone willing to try to solve it? The solution is to be found in a Cryptologia article:

THE MACBETH TEST MESSAGE
David Shulman
Cryptologia, Volume 3, Issue 2, 1979, Pages 100 – 104

If anyone is interested in tackling it with some judicious hints, just post your requests in this forum. The system should be revealed (a-la Kerckhoff) with the challenge being to solve the given test message. I believe hill-climbing could come in handy here.

Moshe

Last edited by mosher on August 21st, 2009, 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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cmdline
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August 27th, 2009, 12:08 am #16

mosher wrote:I just returned from a week's vacation with the family and read your posting now.


Hi Moshe,

Welcome back! Coincidentally, I'm on holidays right now, and hoping to devote some time to the Chaocipher.

I'm re-reading Ch. 21 of Silent Years. It sounds like Byrne is saying that you need both his "principle" and his device to encrypt text. For example, he states, "With these two things, my device and my principle, any person, anywhere, writing any language, could by applying my principle and using my device transcribe his written words into a script which would be absolutely indecipherable by anyone except the persons for whom the message is intended" (p. 266).

It makes me think that you need to apply his "principle" first (i.e., do something to the plaintext) and then use his device to perform the rest of the operation. Or, that the device is merely an aid in the encryption process.

If this were a typical cipher machine like Enigma, you wouldn't say that you needed both the machine and knowledge of a "principle" to encrypt/decrypt text. You would just key in plaintext and get ciphertext out. It sounds like Byrne's machine is a more "manual" or laborious process, involving several steps.

Up to now, we've tended to think that his machine is an instantiation of his principle, but perhaps the two are separate.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by cmdline on August 27th, 2009, 1:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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osric
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August 27th, 2009, 10:26 am #17

wrote:Up to now, we've tended to think that his machine is an instantiation of his principle, but perhaps the two are separate.

For 'principle' I read 'instructions for operating the machine'.

An example: say the machine has 2 disks, with mixed alphabets around the periphery of each disk (as described by Langan). There are all sorts of ways such a machine could be used to encipher. But there is only one way that Byrne uses the machine -- and that way is described by his 'principle'.

So, as I see it, we have to find the machine and the correct way to operate it.
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cmdline
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August 27th, 2009, 3:23 pm #18

Hi osric,

Right, you're thinking that "principle" means the instructions on how to use the machine, which makes sense. I was thinking that maybe it's separate in some way. For example, that the "principle" is some sort of transposition procedure or something that masks the plaintext, which you apply before using the machine.

Last edited by cmdline on August 27th, 2009, 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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osric
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August 27th, 2009, 5:06 pm #19

cmdline wrote:Hi osric,

Right, you're thinking that "principle" means the instructions on how to use the machine, which makes sense. I was thinking that maybe it's separate in some way. For example, that the "principle" is some sort of transposition procedure or something that masks the plaintext, which you apply before using the machine.
Hi cmdline,

You may well be right!

Your thought is worth hanging on to, both on its own merits and because none of us has got anywhere near solving this one. :D
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cmdline
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August 27th, 2009, 6:23 pm #20

wrote:none of us has got anywhere near solving this one. :D
Maybe not, but you guys have made great progress in the analysis of the cipher. I've been trying to catch up on all the progress reports on Moshe's webpage!





Last edited by cmdline on August 27th, 2009, 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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