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Sheet 1

Question 1

Given that the Caesar’s cipher is used, find the plaintext from the
ciphertextVSRQJHEREVTXDUHSDQWU

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C

q Ans. Shift backward by three positions From cipher to plain text

SPONGEBOBSQUAREPANTR

Question 2

Find the plaintext and the key from the ciphertextCSYEVIXIVQMREXIH


Given that the cipher is a simple substitution of the shift-by-n variety.

q Ans. Shift backward by one to four positions From cipher to plain text
n = 1 BRXDUHWHUPLQDWHG
n = 2 AQWCTGVGTOKPCUGF
n = 3 ZPVBSFUFSNJOBUFE
n = 4 YOUARETERMINATED

Question 3
If we have a computer that can test 240 keys each second, and if the key space is of size 2128,
find:

q Ans.
The average time taken to find the correct key
Ans. (2^128 / 2^40) / 31,557,600 = 4,903,494,084,172,197,326.87 years
Remark – There are 31,557,600 seconds a year (365.25 days per year)

Question 5

The weak ciphers used during the election of 1876 employed a fixed permutation of the words
for a given length sentence. To see that this is weak, find the permutation of (1, 2, 3, . . . , 10)
that was used to produce the scrambled sentences below, where “San Francisco” is treated as a
single word. Note that the same permutation was used for all three sentences.

first try try if you and don’t again at succeed


only you you you as believe old are are as
winter was in the I summer ever San Francisco coldest spent
q Ans.
4 9 1 5 7 10 2 6 3 8
If at first you don’t succeed try and try again
You are only as old as you believe you are
The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco

Question 7

Define the terms confusion and diffusion in the context of cryptology. Discuss a classic cipher
that employs only confusion and also discuss a classic cipher that employs only diffusion. Which
cipher discussed in this chapter employs both confusion and diffusion?

q Ans.
Confusion is designed to obscure the relationship between the plaintext and ciphertext, while
diffusion is supposed to spread the plaintext statistics through the ciphertext.

A simple substitution cipher and a one-time pad employ only confusion,


whereas a double transposition is a diffusion-only cipher.

Since the one-time pad is provably secure, evidently confusion alone is “enough,” while,
apparently, diffusion alone is not.

DES (Data Encryption Standard) offers both confusion and diffusion

Question 8

Decrypt a simple substitution cipher—though a shift by n

PBFPVYFBQXZTYFPBFEQJHDXXQVAPTPQJKTOYQWIPBVWLXTOXBTFXQWAXBV
CXQWAXFQJVWLEQNTOZQGGQLFXQWAKVWLXQWAEBIPBFXFQVXGTVJVWLBT
PQWAEBFPBFHCVLXBQUFEVWLXGDPEQVPQGVPPBFTIXPFHXZHVFAGFOTHFEFB
QUFTDHZBQPOTHXTYFTODXQHFTDPTOGHFQPBQWAQJJTODXQHFOQPWTBDHHI
XQVAPBFZQHCFWPFHPBFIPBQWKFABVYYDZBOTHPBQPQJTQOTOGHFQAPBFEQJ
HDXXQVAVXEBQPEFZBVFOJIWFFACFCCFHQWAUVWFLQHGFXVAFXQHFUFHILT
TAVWAFFAWTEVOITDHFHFQAITIXPFHXAFQHEFZQWGFLVWPTOFFA
Assignment

Question 9

Decrypt the simple substitution

MXDXBVTZWVMXNSPBQXLIMSCCSGXSCJXBOVQXCJZMOJZCVCTVWJCZAAXZBC
SSCJXBQCJZCOJZCNSPOXBXSBTVWJCJZDXGXXMOZQMSCSCJXBOVQXCJZMOJZC
NSPJZHGXXMOSPLHJZDXZAAXZBXHCSCJXTCSGXSCJXBOVQX
—plaintext from Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Assignment
Question 10

Decrypt the following message that was encrypted using a simple substitution cipher:

GBSXUCGSZQGKGSQPKQKGLSKASPCGBGBKGUKGCEUKUZKGGBSQEICACGKGCE
UERWKLKUPKQQGCIICUAEUVSHQKGCEUPCGBCGQOEVSHUNSUGKUZCGQSNLSH
EHIEEDCUOGEPKHZGBSNKCUGSUKUASERLSKASCUGBSLKACRCACUZSSZEUSBE
XHKRGSHWKLKUSQSKCHQTXKZHEUQBKZAENNSUASZFENFCUOCUEKBXGBSWK
LKUSQSKNFKQQKZEHGEGBSXUCGSZQGKGSQKUZBCQAEIISKOXSZSICVSHSZGEG
BSQSAHSGKHMERQGKGSKREHNKIHSLIMGEKHSASUGKNSHCAKUNSQQKOSPBCI
SGBCQHSLIMQGKGSZGBKGCGQSSNSZXQSISQQGEAEUGCUXSGBSSJCQGCUOZCLI
ENKGCAUSOEGCKGCEUQCGAEUGKCUSZUEGBHSKGEHBCUGERPKHEHKHNSZKG
GKAD
Assignment

Question 11

Write a program to help an analyst decrypt a simple substitution cipher.Your program should
take the ciphertext as input, compute letter frequency counts, and display these for the analyst.
The program should then allow the analyst to guess the key and display the results of
“decryption” with the putative key.
Assignment

Question 12

Extend the program developed in Problem 11 so that it initially tries to decrypt the message.
Here is one sensible way to proceed. Use the computed letter frequencies and the known
frequencies of English for an initial guess at the key. Then from the resulting putative
decryption, count the number of dictionary words that appear and use this as a “score.” Next, for
each letter in the key, try swapping it with a letter that is adjacent (with respect to frequency
counts) and recompute the score. If the score improves, update the key; if not, don’t update the
key. Iterate this process until the score does not improve for an entire pass through the alphabet.
At this point you will pass your putative decryption to the analyst. In order to aid the analyst in
the manual phase, your program should maintain all of the functionality of the program for
Problem 11.
Assignment

Question 13

Encrypt the message we are all together using a double transposition cipher with 4 rows and 4
columns, using the row permutation

Using the row permutation


(1, 2, 3, 4) → (2, 4, 1, 3)
And the column permutation
(1, 2, 3, 4) → (3, 1, 2, 4).
q Ans.

W E A R
E A L L
T O G E
T H E R

For row first and then column permutation

W E A R 1
E A L L 2
T O G E 3
T H E R 4

E A L L 2
T H E R 4
W E A R 1
T O G E 3 Cipher text should be EALLTHERWEARTOGE

3 1 2 4
L E A L
E T H R
A W E R
G T O E Cipher text should be LEALETHRAWERGTOE

Question 14

Decrypt the ciphertext

IAUTMOCSMNIMREBOTNELSTRHEREOAEVMWIHTSEEATMAEOHWHSYCEELTTEO
HMUOUFEHTRFT

This message was encrypted with a double transposition using a matrix of 7 rows and 10
columns. Hint: The first word is “there.”

q Ans.

I A U T M O C S M N
I M R E B O T N E L
S T R H E R E O A E
V M W I H T S E E A
T M A E O H W H S Y
C E E L T T E O H M
U O U F E H T R F T
First we will try to sort the columns in order to make rows more readable:

2 4 7 6 5 9 3 10 1 8
A T C O M M U N I S
M E T O B E R L I N
T H E R E A R E S O
M I S T H E W A V E
M E W H O S A Y T H
E L E T T H E M C O
O F T H E F U T U R

Then we will try to sort the rows in order to complete the sentence:

T H E R E A R E S O
M E W H O S A Y T H
A T C O M M U N I S
M I S T H E W A V E
O F T H E F U T U R
E L E T T H E M C O
M E T O B E R L I N

Plain text:

There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future, let them come to Berlin

Best Wishes
Aya Sedky