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Phillips Cipher

Tool for decrypting / encoding with Phillips' cipher. Phillips cipher is a polyalphabetic code using 8 grids generated with one keyword.

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Phillips Cipher -

Tag(s) : Cryptography, Poly-Alphabetic Cipher

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Phillips Cipher

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Phillips Decoder









Phillips Encoder







Tool for decrypting / encoding with Phillips' cipher. Phillips cipher is a polyalphabetic code using 8 grids generated with one keyword.

Answers to Questions

How to encrypt using Phillips cipher?

Philips Encryption uses an initial grid of 5x5 (or keyword to generate the grid).

Example: Basic Grid (with Z omitted)

\12345
1ABCDE
2FGHIJ
3KLMNO
4PQRST
5UVWXY

The first step is to generate 7 other 5x5 grids of letters (to obtain 8 grids in total). The grid 1 is the initial grid, the grids 2, 3, 4 and 5 are obtained from the grid 1 by swapping line 1 with lines 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively, and finally the grids 6, 7 and 8 are obtained from the grid 5 by switching line 1 with the line respectively 2, 3 and 4.

An error had crept into the explanation of grids between the month of August and October 2017

Example:

Grille 1
\12345
1ABCDE
2FGHIJ
3KLMNO
4PQRST
5UVWXY
Grille 2
\12345
1FGHIJ
2ABCDE
3-----
4-----
5-----
Grille 3
\12345
1KLMNO
2-----
3ABCDE
4-----
5-----
Grille 4
\12345
1PQRST
2-----
3-----
4ABCDE
5-----
Grille 5
\12345
1UVWXY
2FGHIJ
3KLMNO
4PQRST
5ABCDE
Grille 6
\12345
1FGHIJ
2UVWXY
3-----
4-----
5ABCDE
Grille 7
\12345
1KLMNO
2-----
3UVWXY
4-----
5ABCDE
Grille 8
\12345
1PQRST
2-----
3-----
4UVWXY
5ABCDE

The Phillips cipher splits the texthref into blocks of size T characters (by default T=5 letters, in which case the blocks are called pentagrams). At the Nth block is associated the grid N (if there are more blocks than grids, the 9th block is again associated with grid 1, and so on).

Example: The message DCODEPHILLIPS is segmented DCODE,PHILL,IPS and DCODE is associated with grid 1, PHILL with grid 2 and IPS with grid 3.

Each letter of a block is then located in the associated grid, and corresponds to a letter encoded according to a shift on the grid of 1 downwards and 1 to the right (offset 1,1). (If this cell does not exist, it is necessary to imagine a continuity of the grid by its opposite side).

Example: D is encrypted by J in the grid

\12345
1ABCD
2FGHJ
3KLMNO
4PQRST
5UVWXY
and so on, DCODEPHILLIPS is encrypted by JIPJFVDERROVY

How to decrypt Phillips cipher?

The Phillips decryption is identical to the encryption, except for the shift in the grid which is reversed. Instead of moving one square to the right and one square down, the decryption performs the reverse path, moving one square to the left and one square to the top.

Example: J is decrypted by D in the grid

\12345
1ABCD
2FGHJ
3KLMNO
4PQRST
5UVWXY

How to recognize a Phillips ciphertext?

The Phillips cipher can be assimilated to a polyphabetic cipher, its coincidence indexhref is low between 0.4 and 0.5.

Using a 5x5 grid means that the message consists of up to 25 distinct letters.

What are the variants of the Phillips cipher?

Several variants are possible:

- An alternative method of generating the 8 grids, or even not limited to 8 grids.

- The shift of (+1, +1) can very well be modified by any pair (+n, +m)

The block size T may be different, or even vary according to a given split rule.

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Source code

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