Sometimes the right answer is a lot closer than we think. This cipher must have been a good one, seeing how long it took for the answer to be found. Take that, all you government code breakers!
Solving The Chaocipher
The Chaocipher was once famous for its complexity. Now, it’s famous for its simplicity. This cipher machine was extremely small, but it generated ciphers that went unsolved for almost 50 years. John Byrne was a writer who began creating the cipher in the 1920s and soon had a code that he claimed was unsolvable. In his many attempts to show the government and the Navy, he was ignored due to his seeming lack of skills as a cryptanalyst.
Byrne never gave out any details about the Chaocipher until he published his autobiography, Silent Years, which contained examples of famous documents in both plaintext and ciphertext. But even though the Chaocipher was finally available, no one knew how to figure it out. After Byrne’s death, the American Cryptogram Association contacted Byrne’s son to see if he would reveal his father’s secrets. To their dismay, he refused. The code remained a mystery until Patricia Byrne, John Byrne’s son’s widow, finally revealed the secret in 2010.
The mechanism contained two circles with all the letters of the alphabet on their outer edges. The right circle had the alphabet going clockwise in plaintext, while the left circle had it going counterclockwise in ciphertext. By replacing certain letters in a sequence, the machine could create a code that was indecipherable without the machine to translate it back. The system wholly violates Kerckhoffs’s principle, which states that a cryptogram should be secure even if the secret of how it works is public knowledge. Cracking the code was so difficult simply because no one knew exactly how Byrne built his machine.
Maybe the government should have listened to him instead of blowing him off just because he wasn't "officially" trained. Sure would have things a lot easier in the long run don't ya think ?
Coffee inside this morning. Rain is moving back in!