Monday, May 9, 2016

The Chaocipher On Monday Mystery...!

This one is good for those that work a lot of word puzzles and can do some cipher work as well.

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!


Chickenmom said...

If the government was smart, they would really listen to their people. But, alas, they think we are just too stupid to know anything except what they tell us..

linda m said...

Someone needs to tell TPTB that they are the stupid ones, not us . Rain moving in here also and cooler temps again.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
No one ever accused the government of being too smart. They are not going to listen to us.
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Linda...
Must be frustrating to work for someone like that. Takes way longer to get things done at times.
I appreciate the visit this morning!