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Bifid Cipher

Tool to crypt/decrypt the bifid cipher. The bifid cipher uses coordinates of letters and mixes them in order to get new coordinates. This tommographic process is described in Cryptography Elementary Treaty by Delastelle.

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Bifid Cipher -

Tag(s) : Cryptography

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Bifid Cipher

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Tool to crypt/decrypt the bifid cipher. The bifid cipher uses coordinates of letters and mixes them in order to get new coordinates. This tommographic process is described in Cryptography Elementary Treaty by Delastelle.

Answers to Questions

How to encrypt using Bifid cipher?

Bifid encryption requires a grid (or a keyword to generate the grid) and (optional) a number N which will serve as a period/block length (otherwise consider N=1).

Consider the grid (generated with the word SECRET):

\12345
1SECRT
2ABDFG
3HIKLM
4NOPQU
5VWXYZ

First, split letters in blocks of size N.

Consider the plain message DCODE and a period of length N=3.

DCODE becomes 'DCO, DEZ' (here Z is a null letter that fill the block but it will be ignored when decoding, here we chose the last letter of the grid).

This text-splitting is not mandatory, but simplifies encryption/decryption for long texts.

If you don't need to split into blockshref, just consider a period size of N = 1 (or a period size equal to or greater than the number of letters in the plain message)

For each letter of the block, write the coordinates of the letters (row, column) in a table.

Take the first block DCO. D=(2,3), C=(1,3), O=(4,2) and write it in a table:

D23
C13
O42

To get new coordinates, read the numbers of the table vertically by columns.

The vertical reading gives 2,1,4,3,3,2 or the coordinates (2,1),(4,3),(3,2).

Simply replace the coordinates with the corresponding letters in the grid.

(2,1) for A, (4,3) for P and (3,2) for I.

These steps are repeated for each block.

The final encrypted message is APIAX

How to decrypt Bifid cipher?

Decryption begins identically to encryption.

Consider the message APIAX (period N=3) to be decrypted with the grid (generated with the word SECRET):

\12345
1SECRT
2ABDFG
3HIKLM
4NOPQU
5VWXYZ

The message is split into period/block of size N (completed with an empty letter if necessary)

The message is decomposed in block of 3: API,AXZ

Each letter is associated with its position in the grid as coordinates (row, column)

The letters of the block A,P,I have the respective coordinates (2,1),(4,3),(3,2).

Write the coordinates on N columns and 2 lines.

214
332

Then, read vertically by columns

You get 2,3,1,3,4,2 or (2,3),(1,3),(4,2).

The new coordinates are then associated with the corresponding letters in the grid.

You find the plain letters (2,3)=D, (1,3)=C and (4,2)=O.

These steps are repeated for each block.

The plaintext message is DCODE.

How to recognize Bifide ciphertext?

The message has a low coincidence indexhref around 0.4 to 0.5.

If the grid is 5x5 then it can have at most 25 distinct characters.

What does bifid means?

Bifid means 'that is cut in half lengthwise', which applies to the Delastelle cipher: the coordinates are cut in 2 during the encryption and decryption steps.

When Bifid have been invented ?

Delastelle described this process in 1902.

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Source code

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