Tool to decrypt/encrypt Alberti's cipher, a medieval cipher with 2 alphabets using a dial/wheel/disk to encrypt/decrypt.

Alberti Cipher - dCode

Tag(s) : Poly-Alphabetic Cipher

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The Alberti cipher is a polyalphabetic cipher system that uses two mobile concentric disks which can rotate.

Encryption uses a disk with two alphabets, one fixed (stabilis) one moving (mobilis). By rotating a disk, it shifts an alphabet to the next letter.

To encrypt, the disk is set in one position, the initial shift (which can be zero) corresponds to the number of letters shifted at the beginning.

__Example:__ The disk is composed of `ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ` for the large outer ring, and `abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz` for the small inner ring. `A` is in line with `a`, `B` is inline with `b`, etc. Rotating a disk by 2, then `A` is in line with `c`, and the initial shift becomes `2`.

Each letter of the plain text found on the outer ring, is replaced by the corresponding one (the one aligned) in the inner ring.

By default, every 4 characters (4 = period), the disk is rotated clockwise of 1 letter (1 = periodic increment), this changes the substituting alphabet.

__Example:__ Encrypt `DCODE` with the parameters: initial shift: 1, periodic increment: 2, period: 3.

Alphabets are such as `ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ` is aligned with `bcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyza`.

The period begins, `D` is coded by `e`, `C` by `d`, `O` by `p`, the period (length 3) ends, the disk is rotated by 2 letters.

Alphabets are now aligned like this: `ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ` with `defghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabc`, the new period begins, etc.

The encrypted message is `edpgh`

Le decryption needs the disk (or the 2 alphabets) and the parameters: initial position, period and shift.

To cipher a message, the disk is set with the corresponding initial shift. Each letter is identified on the inner disk, and is coded by the letter aligned in the outer disk.

By default, every 4 characters (4 = period), the disk is rotated counter-clockwise of 1 letter (1 = periodic increment).

__Example:__ The parameters are: initial shift: 1, periodic increment: 2, period: 3, and the cipher message `edpgh`.

Alphabets are such as `ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ` is aligned with `bcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyza`

The period begins, `e` is decoded by `D`, `d` by `C`, `p` by `O`, the period (length 3) ends, the disk is rotated by 2 letters.

Alphabets are now aligned like this: `ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ` with `defghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabc`, the new period begins, etc.

The original plain text is `DCODE`

The ciphered message has a polyalphabetic index of coincidence.

In its original version, the message has only these letters: `ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVXYZ` and `&`, no `J`, `U` or `W`

The mention of *De Cifris* refers to the treaty published by Alberti presenting his cipher.

Le disque extérieur (stabilisé) est généralement `ABCDEFGILMNOPQRSTVXZ1234`, mais il existe aussi `ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVXYZ2` ou `ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVXYZ-` (qui sont plus rares).

Le disque intérieur (mobilis) est moins bien défini et plusieurs versions coexistent :

— `usqomkhfdbacegilnprtxz&y` (De componendis cifris - Archives d'État de Venise CCX VI 1, Ferraioli Ms. 360-1, Vaticanus Latinus 5118, Vaticanus Latinus 5357)

— `vsqomkhfdbacegilnp-rtxz7` (De componendis cifris - Marcianus 4702)

— `zyxuronmilhgedcba&qtpsfk` (De componendis cifris - Chigi M II 49)

— `xihcnzvrypagqldfts&moebk` (De componendis cifris - Riccardianus 927)

— `mqihfdbacegklnprtuz&xyso` (Wikipédia anglais, italien)

— `c&bmdgpfznxyvtoskerlhaiq` (Ars Cryptographica)

One can crack Alberti by brute-forcing all combinations of period, initial shift and periodic increment. Use the 'Bruteforce attack' button.

Leon Battista Alberti would have invented this wheel around 1460.

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Cite as source (bibliography):

*Alberti Cipher* on dCode.fr [online website], retrieved on 2023-09-27,

- Alberti's Disk Decoder
- Alberti's Disk Encoder
- What is the Alberti cipher? (Definition)
- How to encrypt using Alberti cipher?
- How to decrypt Alberti cipher
- How to recognize an Alberti ciphertext?
- What are usual alphabets for Alberti's wheel?
- How to decipher Alberti without period or shift?
- When was the Alberti cipher invented?

alberti,disk,wheel,leon,battista,cifris,stabilis,mobilis

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