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Jul 4 2010, 05:26 PM
Hi fiziwig,

I agree with you wholeheartedly: to understand any algorithm, mathematical formula, or cipher system, a tangible, manipulatable model is invaluable. When I first played with the Chaocipher algorithm I used Scrabble tiles. I had to deal with the problem that a standard scrabble set has only one tile of the following letters: J, K, Q, and X <g>.


Nonetheless, there seems to be a wealth of information with every pt/ct pair. A computer will certainly come in handy, and I believe there is a method far more efficient than brute force.


In any case, this is the challenge at the moment: recovering the alphabets given the pt+ct. When this is finally solved we can concentrate on the real challenge: solving a ciphertext-only Chaocipher message.

I visited a half-dozen thrift stores yesterday looking for used Scrabble sets. No luck at all. That's why I resorted to the method I used.

However, I then discovered that loads of people are selling large lots of Scrabble tiles on eBay: http://toys.shop.ebay.com/Scrabble-/19097/i.html
Get 'em while they're hot!

I agree, the computer will be invaluable, but only after we know how to attack the problem, and I''m hoping the answer to that will come from physically manipulating the model.

Yes, solving a ciphertext only message will be the real challenge.

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