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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A way to make any code harder to break

Some codes leave spaces between the words as in plain text. In a language like English that has many two and three-letter words, this makes code breaking far easier.

But suppose we treat the space as a character and encode that as well. The result would be a string or wall of text with a few spaces. Such a code could be broken with a brute force search but only if the cryptanalysts realized the spaces were being treated like letters rather than being omitted like in the Enigma code.

I think a modified Vigniere cipher would produce such a code and be challenging to break. The only way a code can be broken by brute force is if the code breaking machine can try and evaluate all possible interpretations in hours or days. So the key to a strong code is to make the number of possible interpretations as large as possible.

 



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