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Unsolved: The World’s Greatest Codes and/or Ciphers. Craig Bauer e ditor, author, ambassador. Ancient Ciphers?. Illiterate imitations -or- encrypted texts? This example is c. 1050–1250 and is from Denmark. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B8rup_runestone. Voynich MS.

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unsolved the world s greatest codes and or ciphers

Unsolved: The World’s Greatest Codes and/or Ciphers

Craig Bauer

editor, author, ambassador

ancient ciphers
Ancient Ciphers?

Illiterate imitations

-or-

encrypted texts?

This example is c. 1050–1250

and is from Denmark.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B8rup_runestone

voynich ms
Voynich MS.

1404-1438

Emperor

Rudolph II

bought it by

1608.

rohonc codex
Rohonc Codex

La´ng, B. 2010. ‘‘Why Don’t We Decipher an Outdated Cipher System? The Codex of Rohonc,’’ Cryptologia, 34(2):115–144.

the dorabella cipher 1897
The Dorabella Cipher, 1897

From Edward Elgar…

mauborgne s 1915 cipher
Mauborgne’s 1915 Cipher

Coinventor / Reinventor

of the One Time Pad

only a few years later…

relaying a challenge
Relaying a Challenge

The following cipher message and explanatory letter from First Lieut. J. O. Mauborgne, 8thInfantry, is submitted to the Signal Class. Officers interested in Cryptography are invited to translate this cipher message, and turn in the translations to the Director’s Office.

Guartelde Espana, Manila, P.I.,

October 23rd, 1915.

the challenge
The Challenge

From: 1st Lieutenant J. O. Mauborgne, 8th Infantry.

To: The Director, Army Signal School.

Subject: New type of military cipher.

1. Having evolved a cipher which I believe to be suitable to military use, and superior in many ways to the regular cipher disk or the “Playfair” cipher in the matter of ease of employment by the enlisted man, and extreme simplicity, coupled with indecipherability, when properly used, I request that this cipher be turned over to the instructors and student officers of the Signal School for attack from the point of decipherability, and for discussion with a view to its adoption as a standard cipher for use in the service.

slide14

2. To the end just stated, I suggest that the Director permit the enclosed cipher message to be put on the bulletin board where it can be copied and worked upon by the officers at the school, in their leisure time; a time limit of three months being allowed for solution, inasmuch as it is well known that the leisure time of the student is a very small quantity.

3. At the expiration of the time mentioned, the sealed envelope herewith, marked “Cipher No. 1, Translation” might be opened if the Director is willing, and the translation of the message placed upon the bulletin board to show why the standard method of attacking a substitution cipher fails in this case, and to see if the officers at the school can develop any method by which translation might be obtained from the cipher given. It is believed that this will stimulate invention, and perhaps, result in something of service to the army.

slide15

4. After another month has elapsed, the other sealed envelope enclosed herewith and marked, “Cipher No. 1, Method of enciphering and key used” may be opened, and, with the consent of the Director, submitted to the School for discussion, with the object stated in paragraph 1.

5. I am told that the Signal School has developed some men who have become exceptionally keen in deciphering captured cryptograms, and I trust that the Director will consider my request favorably and permit these officers to attack this message in the manner outlined.

6. If any attack upon this cipher is successful, I shall be glad to hear of it.

J. O. Mauborgne, 1st Lieut. 8th Infantry.

cipher no 1
CIPHER NO. 1

“This is a simple, single-letter substitution cipher adapted to military use, which is believed to be practically indecipherable when used in the manner employed in the production of the cipher given below, and which can be used by the enlisted man with greater precision and facility, after five minutes instruction, than either the “Playfair” or the Cipher Disk in use in our service at the present time. If you are able to decipher the following message, please inform me of the number of hours necessary, and the method used. I believe this cipher will be found to dodge all the rules of deciphering now in our possession.”

slide17

PMVEB DWXZA XKKHQ RNFMJ VATAD YRJON FGRKD TSVWF TCRWC

RLKRW ZCNBC FCONW FNOEZ QLEJB HUVLY OPFIN ZMHWC RZULG

BGXLA GLZCZ GWXAH RITNW ZCQYR KFWVL CYGZE NQRNI JFEPS

RWCZV TIZAQ LVEYI QVZMO RWQHL CBWZL HBPEF PROVE ZFWGZ

RWLJG RANKZ ECVAW TRLBW URVSP KXWFR DOHAR RSRJJ NFJRT

AXIJU RCRCP EVPGR ORAXA EFIQV QNIRV CNMTE LKHDC RXISG

RGNLE RAFXO VBOBU CUXGT UEVBR ZSZSO RZIHE FVWCN OBPED

ZGRAN IFIZD MFZEZ OVCJS DPRJH HVCRG IPCIF WHUKB NHKTV

IVONS TNADX UNQDY PERRB PNSOR ZCLRE MLZKR YZNMN PJMQB

RMJZL IKEFV CDRRN RHENC TKAXZ ESKDR GZCXD SQFGD CXSTE

ZCZNI GFHGN ESUNR LYKDA AVAVX QYVEQ FMWET ZODJY RMLZJ

QOBQ-

J. O. Mauborgne, 1st Lieut. 8th Infantry.

Manila, P. I., October 21st, 1915.

d agapeyeff s cipher 1939
D’Agapeyeff’s Cipher, 1939

“Mr. Alexander d’Agapeyeff is well qualified to write about Codes and Ciphers, for after joining the British army as a private at the age of sixteen, and getting a commission in the field at seventeen, he became intelligence officer with the North Russian Expeditionary Force, and was with the British Military Mission in the Baltic till 1921, where he became au courant with the spying and counter-spying activities between Germany and Russia. After a short post-war time at Cambridge he went to Africa, made a rough survey of the route to Lake Chad, and became ‘blood brother’ of a wild tribe; and as surveyor and administrator of a tract of bush country in the back of beyond, had an opportunity of studying native customs, mythology and religion.”

  • D'Agapeyeff, Alexander, Codes and Ciphers, Oxford University Press, London, 1939, front inside dust jacket.
slide22

On page 158 of the first edition of his book, d’Agapeyeff wrote, “Here is a cryptogram upon which the reader is invited to test his skill.” The challenge is reproduced below.

75628 28591 62916 48164 91748 58464 74748 28483 81638 1817474826 26475 83828 49175 74658 37575 75936 36565 81638 1758575756 46282 92857 46382 75748 38165 81848 56485 64858 5638272628 36281 81728 16463 75828 16483 63828 58163 63630 4748191918 46385 84656 48565 62946 26285 91859 17491 72756 4657571658 36264 74818 28462 82649 18193 65626 48484 91838 5749181657 27483 83858 28364 62726 26562 83759 27263 82827 2728382858 47582 81837 28462 82837 58164 75748 58162 92000

not even d agapeyeff
Not Even D’Agapeyeff!

The book covered systems that were no longer state of the hand systems it described had already been replaced by machine ciphers for the most important messages. Thus, the solution to his challenge should not have proved too elusive. Yet, nobody managed to find it. Even d’Agapeyeff was unable to help, for by the time frustrated enquiries reached him, he had forgotten the method he used to create the ciphertext! Perhaps in an effort to stave off more enquiries, d’Agapeyeff omitted the challenge from future editions of Codes and Ciphers.

slide24

from Shulman, David (under his ACA pen name AB STRUSE). The D'Agapeyeff Cryptogram: A Challenge, The Cryptogram, April/May 1952, pp. 39-40, 46. A portion of page 46 reproduced here.

references
References

1. Barker, Wayne G., The Unsolved D'AgapeyeffCipher, Cryptologia, Vol. 2, No. 2, April 1978, pp. 144-147.

2. D'Agapeyeff, Alexander, Codes and Ciphers, Oxford University Press, London, 1939.

3. Shulman, David (under his ACA pen name AB STRUSE). The D'Agapeyeff Cryptogram: A Challenge, The Cryptogram, April/May 1952, pp. 39-40, 46. Reward offered!

4. Shulman, David (under his ACA pen name AB STRUSE). D'Agapeyeff Cipher: Postscript, The Cryptogram, March/April 1959, pp. 80-81.

somerton man 1948
Somerton Man, 1948

Found at 6:30 am

December 1, 1948, on Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia.

Believed poisoned.

slide27

“a tiny piece of rolled-up paper with the words "TamamShud" printed on it was found deep in a fob pocket sewn within the dead man's trouser pocket”

It means "ended" or "finished" and is from the last page of the TheRubaiyatby Omar Khayyam.

“The theme of these poems is that one should live life to the full and have no regrets when it ended.” (Wikpedia)

a lead
A Lead?

Having seen the case described in a newspaper, a man came forth with a very rare first edition copy of Edward FitzGerald's translation of The Rubaiyat (1859) by Whitcombe and Tombs in New Zealand. He found it (!) in the back seat of his unlocked car about a week or two before the body was found.

The book was missing the words "TamamShud" on the last page, and microscopic tests indicated that the piece of paper was from the page torn from the book.

The back of the book contained a cipher. (Wikipedia)

paul rubin 1953
Paul Rubin, 1953

On the morning of January 20, 1953, Private Madrid King was walking to board a plane at the Philadelphia International Airport, when he discovered the body of a man at the bottom of a 12 foot ditch. The deceased was later identified as 18 year-old Paul Emanuel Rubin. About 20 minutes before his body was found, Rubin was seen walking in the area by Rev. Robert M. Anderson, who described him as “wild-eyed.” Did Rubin know his life was about to end?

cyanide poisoning
Cyanide Poisoning

Rubin was a chemistry major at New York University.

Was it suicide?

Coroner Joseph Ominsky believed Rubin was placed in the ditch post-mortem, because of the position the body was found in, and that it was therefore not a suicide.

contradictions in the press
Contradictions in the Press

It was reported, “No vial or container of any kind was found at the scene or in the youth’s pockets, according to Ominsky.”

But the next day, accounts described a “five-inch long test tube” that was found about five feet from the body. Oddly, no traces of poison were found in the tube.

a mystery within a mystery
A Mystery Within A Mystery

An enciphered message was taped to Rubin’s abdomen with a six inch long and two inch wide strip of tape. The cipher couldn’t be seen until the tape was removed, as the paper it was written on was rolled up under the tape. Rubin had a habit of sending enciphered messages to friends, so he may been the author. Also, Rubin’s mother recalled seeing her son cut some strips of adhesive tape before leaving home that morning.

a quick check
A Quick Check…
  • January 20, 1953 (Paul Rubin’s death)
  • June 7, 1954 (Alan Turing’s cyanide death)
fbi interest
FBI Interest

John Foster Dulles was designated by President Eisenhower to become the new Secretary of State.

Dr. James B. Conant was President of Harvard University and slated to become American High Commissioner in West Germany.

or maybe
Or Maybe…

NSA historian David Hatch pointed out other possible identifications for “Dulles”

1) John Foster’s brother Allen, incoming DCI

-or-

2) Eleanor Dulles, the State Department desk officer for West Germany.

another link to germany
Another link to Germany

Rubin’s fake alligator skin wallet, instead of a picture of a girlfriend, contained an image of an airplane with a Nazi swastika on its tail assembly.

Rubin was Jewish.

The photo carried the notation “France Field, Panama” on the back. The only other picture in the wallet was of Rodin’s famous sculpture “The Thinker.”

a typical teenager
A Typical Teenager?

Other items found on Rubin’s body that one might not expect to be in the possession of a typical 1950’s teenager included:

1) a plastic cylinder containing a signal fuse (a prop used in magic tricks)

2) the casing of a spent .38 caliber bullet (found in a pocket of his topcoat)

3) a fountain pen gun

4) forty-seven cents (odd since he left with $15 that morning – where was the rest?)

misinformation
Misinformation?

More typical was the February issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. It was reported that “Officers said that one article in the magazine, entitled “Mystic Numbers,” and written by a Dr. Bell, was concerned with cryptography.” E. T. Bell wrote science fiction under the pseudonym John Taine, but he didn’t have an article in the given issue, nor was anything dealing with codes or ciphers contained therein. It was also reported that Conant and Dulles’s names appeared in this issue in different stories, but this is also incorrect.

another contradiction
Another Contradiction

Edwin S. Schriver, a homicide squad detective, said at the inquest that Rubin was failing his classes and was in danger of being expelled. Schriver was convinced it was a suicide. But Samuel Rubin, the teen’s father, said his son started college at age 16, “hardly did any homework,” yet was a good student and was in good spirits when he left home the day before.

Perhaps the presently unsolved cipher associated with the case will one day shed light on why Paul Rubin never made his classes on January 20, 1953.

solved by donald and bettye harden
Solved by Donald and Bettye Harden

“I like killing people because it is so much fun it is more fun than killing wild game in the forest because man is the most dangerous anamal of all to kill something gi”

a later clue
A Later Clue

http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/radian.htm

example with key gauss
Example with Key = GAUSS

Message: MATHEMATICS IS THE QUEEN OF THE SCIENCES

KRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZ plaintext GHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEF alphabet 1

ABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOS alphabet 2

UVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQ alphabet 3

SABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTO alphabet 4

SABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTO alphabet 5

example continued
Example Continued

KRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZ plaintext GHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEF alphabet 1

ABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTOS alphabet 2

UVWXZKRYPTOSABCDEFGHIJLMNQ alphabet 3

SABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTO alphabet 4

SABCDEFGHIJLMNQUVWXZKRYPTO alphabet 5

MATHEMATICS IS THE QUEEN OF THE SCIENCES plaintext

GAUSSGAUSSG AU SSG AUSSG AU SSG AUSSGAUS key

OHZQLOHZUIN VR DQX RJLLS FA DQX GTULSJSF ciphertext

cipher 1
Cipher 1
  • Keywords: KRYPTOS, PALIMPSEST
  • BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION
cipher 2
Cipher 2
  • Keywords: KRYPTOS, ABSCISSA
  • IT WAS TOTALLY INVISIBLE HOWS THAT POSSIBLE ? THEY USED THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD X THE INFORMATION WAS GATHERED AND TRANSMITTED UNDERGRUUND TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION X DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS ? THEY SHOULD ITS BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION ? ONLY WW THIS WAS HIS LAST MESSAGE X THIRTY EIGHT DEGREES FIFTY SEVEN MINUTES SIX POINT FIVE SECONDS NORTH SEVENTY SEVEN DEGREES EIGHT MINUTES FORTY FOUR SECONDS WEST X LAYER TWO
cipher 3 transposition
Cipher 3 (transposition)

SLOWLY DESPARATLY SLOWLY THE REMAINS OF PASSAGE DEBRIS THAT ENCUMBERED THE LOWER PART OF THE DOORWAY WAS REMOVED WITH TREMBLING HANDS I MADE A TINY BREACH IN THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER AND THEN WIDENING THE HOLE A LITTLE I INSERTED THE CANDLE AND PEERED IN THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING Q ?

cipher 4
Cipher 4

Hint from Sanborn (Nov. 2010):

NYPVTT (letters 64-69) deciphers to BERLIN.

james sanborn
James Sanborn

“People call me an agent of Satan, because I won't tell my secret.”

craig s guess1
Craig’s Guess

Matrix Encryption.

Positions of errors in previous ciphers indicate the key somehow.

rsa 2048 once worth 200 000
RSA-2048 Once worth $200,000!

25195908475657893494027183240048398571429282126204032027777137836043662020707595556264018525880784406918290641249515082189298559149176184502808489120072844992687392807287776735971418347270261896375014971824691165077613379859095700097330459748808428401797429100642458691817195118746121515172654632282216869987549182422433637259085141865462043576798423387184774447920739934236584823824281198163815010674810451660377306056201619676256133844143603833904414952634432190114657544454178424020924616515723350778707749817125772467962926386356373289912154831438167899885040445364023527381951378636564391212010397122822120720357

Decimal Digits: 617

Decimal Digit Sum: 2738 (from 1991)

slide69

McCormick was found in a cornfield in St. Charles County, Missouri, on June 30, 1999.

No official cause of death.

FBI later listed it as a murder.

some background
Some Background

41 years old, lived off and on with his mother

Unemployed, high school drop-out

Did 11 months in prison for statutory rape.

We would not expect him to have developed a mathematically complex cipher….

contradictions
Contradictions

“According to members of McCormick's family, McCormick had used encrypted notes since he was a boy,…”

“His mother, Frankie Sparks, said ‘The only thing he could write was his name. ... He didn't write in no code.’ His father, Charles McCormick, said Ricky ‘couldn't spell anything, just scribble.’”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_McCormick's_encrypted_notes

slide74

From

The Phoenician

(an NSA retiree

Journal)

slide75
2004

David Rayburn kills his wife, Linda Rayburn, and her son, Michael Berry, with a hammer.

He then hangs himself in the basement, leaving a strange cipher behind.

slide76

The top

rectangle

was added

later by a

family

member.

hundreds of comments at
Hundreds of Comments at

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/01/handwritten_rea.html#comments

double transposition example
Double Transposition Example

Message:

YES SOMETHING INVULNERABLE UNBURIABLE IS WITH ME SOMETHING THAT WOULD REND ROCKS ASUNDER IT IS CALLED MY WILL SILENTLY DOES IT PROCEED AND UNCHANGEDTHROUGHOUT THE YEARS

key 1 friedrich nietzsche
Key 1: FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

F R I E D R I C H N I E T Z S C H E

Y E S S O M E T H I N G I N V U L N

E R A B L E U N B U R I A B L E I S

W I T H M E S O M E T H I N G T H A

T W O U L D R E N D R O C K S A S U

N D E R I T I S C A L L E D M Y W I

L L S I L E N T L Y D O E S I T P R

O C E E D A N D U N C H A N G E D T

H R O U G H O U T T H E Y E A R S N

key 2 gaze into the abyss
Key 2: GAZE INTO THE ABYSS

G A Z E I N T O T H E A B Y S S

T N O E S T D U U E T A Y T E R

O L M L I L D G S B H U R I E U

G I H O L O H E N S A U I R T N

Y E W T N L O H H B M N C L U T

L I H S W P D S S A T O E S E O

E U S R I N N A N R T R L D C H

I U E D A Y N T E R I W D L C R

M E E D T E A H V L G S M I G A

I A I C E E A Y N B N K D S N E

final ciphertext
Final Ciphertext

NLIEI UUEAA UUNOR WSKYR ICELD

MDELO TSRDD CTHAM TTIGN TOGYL EIMIE BSBAR RLBSI LNWIA TETLO LPNYE EUGEH SATHY EETUE CCGNR UNTOH RAEDD HODNN AAUSN HSNEV

NTIRL SDLIS OMHWH SEEI

the double transposition challenge
The Double Transposition Challenge

VESINTNVONMWSFEWNOEALWRNRNCFITEEICRHCODEEA

HEACAEOHMYTONTDFIFMDANGTDRVAONRRTORMTDHE

OUALTHNFHHWHLESLIIAOETOUTOSCDNRITYEELSOANGP

VSHLRMUGTNUITASETNENASNNANRTTRHGUODAAARAO

EGHEESAODWIDEHUNNTFMUSISCDLEDTRNARTMOOIREEY

EIMINFELORWETDANEUTHEEEENENTHEOOEAUEAEAHUHI

CNCGDTUROUTNAEYLOEINRDHEENMEIAHREEDOLNNIRAR

PNVEAHEOAATGEFITWMYSOTHTHAANIUPTADLRSRSDNOT

GEOSRLAAAURPEETARMFEHIREAQEEOILSEHERAHAOTNT

RDEDRSDOOEGAEFPUOBENADRNLEIAFRHSASHSNAMRLT

UNNTPHIOERNESRHAMHIGTAETOHSENGFTRUANIPARTAOR

SIHOOAEUTRMERETIDALSDIRUAIEFHRHADRESEDNDOION

ITDRSTIEIRHARARRSETOIHOKETHRSRUAODTSCTTAFSTHCA

HTSYAOLONDNDWORIWHLENTHHMHTLCVROSTXVDRESDR