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Books
Topic Started: Jul 4 2009, 02:05 AM (2,202 Views)
cmdline
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mosher
Aug 21 2009, 12:23 PM
I just returned from a week's vacation with the family and read your posting now.



Hi Moshe,

Welcome back! Coincidentally, I'm on holidays right now, and hoping to devote some time to the Chaocipher.

I'm re-reading Ch. 21 of Silent Years. It sounds like Byrne is saying that you need both his "principle" and his device to encrypt text. For example, he states, "With these two things, my device and my principle, any person, anywhere, writing any language, could by applying my principle and using my device transcribe his written words into a script which would be absolutely indecipherable by anyone except the persons for whom the message is intended" (p. 266).

It makes me think that you need to apply his "principle" first (i.e., do something to the plaintext) and then use his device to perform the rest of the operation. Or, that the device is merely an aid in the encryption process.

If this were a typical cipher machine like Enigma, you wouldn't say that you needed both the machine and knowledge of a "principle" to encrypt/decrypt text. You would just key in plaintext and get ciphertext out. It sounds like Byrne's machine is a more "manual" or laborious process, involving several steps.

Up to now, we've tended to think that his machine is an instantiation of his principle, but perhaps the two are separate.

Any thoughts?

Edited by cmdline, Aug 27 2009, 01:01 AM.
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osric
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Quote:
 
Up to now, we've tended to think that his machine is an instantiation of his principle, but perhaps the two are separate.



For 'principle' I read 'instructions for operating the machine'.

An example: say the machine has 2 disks, with mixed alphabets around the periphery of each disk (as described by Langan). There are all sorts of ways such a machine could be used to encipher. But there is only one way that Byrne uses the machine -- and that way is described by his 'principle'.

So, as I see it, we have to find the machine and the correct way to operate it.
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cmdline
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Hi osric,

Right, you're thinking that "principle" means the instructions on how to use the machine, which makes sense. I was thinking that maybe it's separate in some way. For example, that the "principle" is some sort of transposition procedure or something that masks the plaintext, which you apply before using the machine.

Edited by cmdline, Aug 27 2009, 04:54 PM.
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osric
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cmdline
Aug 27 2009, 03:23 PM
Hi osric,

Right, you're thinking that "principle" means the instructions on how to use the machine, which makes sense. I was thinking that maybe it's separate in some way. For example, that the "principle" is some sort of transposition procedure or something that masks the plaintext, which you apply before using the machine.

Hi cmdline,

You may well be right!

Your thought is worth hanging on to, both on its own merits and because none of us has got anywhere near solving this one. :D
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cmdline
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Quote:
 
none of us has got anywhere near solving this one. :D

Maybe not, but you guys have made great progress in the analysis of the cipher. I've been trying to catch up on all the progress reports on Moshe's webpage!





Edited by cmdline, Aug 27 2009, 06:24 PM.
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osric
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Yes there's been plenty of analysis, but perhaps we have reached the stage of 'analysis paralysis' that prevents seeing the wood for the trees!

In this case, a new insight would be a good thing.
Edited by osric, Aug 30 2009, 09:38 AM.
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kryptosfan
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I think this would be a pretty good Chaocipher Resource :)
OBKR
UOXOGHULBSOLIFBBWFLRVQQPRNGKSSO
TWTQSJQSSEKZZWATJKLUDIAWINFBNYP
VTTMZFPKWGDKZXTJCDIGKUHUAUEKCAR
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