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Bellaso Cipher

Tool to decrypt/encrypt with Bellaso. Bellaso cipher created by Giovanni Battista Bellaso is a cryptographic poly-alphabetic process using one or two keys and adapted to the italian alphabet

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Bellaso Cipher -

Tag(s) : Poly-Alphabetic Cipher

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Bellaso Cipher

Bellaso Decoder








Generate alphabets

Bellaso Encoder








Generate alphabets

Tool to decrypt/encrypt with Bellaso. Bellaso cipher created by Giovanni Battista Bellaso is a cryptographic poly-alphabetic process using one or two keys and adapted to the italian alphabet

Answers to Questions

How to encrypt using Bellaso cipher

Bellaso encryption uses an alphabet, a key to generate N alphabets from the first one and a cipher key.

The original author used the latin alphabet with 20 letters ABCDEFGHILMNOPQRSTVX

Example: Encrypt DCODE ME with the alphabet ABCDEFGHILMNOPQRSTVX, the generation key CHIAVEALPHABET for 5 alphabets and CHIAVE the ciphering key.

The message is split into words. For the nth word of the message, get the nth letter of the key (modulo key length) and substitute using the alphabet for the nth letter.

Example: Word 1 : DCODE, Word 2 = ME
1st letter of the key : C, alphabet for C = CHIAVDFGMN/ELPBTOQRSX, DCODE becomes OEDOC
2nd letter of the key : H, alphabet for H = CHIAVDFGMN/XELPBTOQRS, ME becomes RH
The message is encrypted OEDOC RH

How to decrypt Bellaso cipher

Bellaso decryption is identical to encryption.

How to generate Bellaso alphabets

To decrypt, take distinct letters of the generating key and split it in half

Example: CHIAVEALPHABET becomes CHIAVELPBT so CHIAV and ELPBT

The two parts are filled with remaining letters in order to make it reversible

Example: CHIAVDFGMN/ELPBTOQRSX

To generate the next N-1 alphabets, keep the first part but make a rotation of i times n characters of the second part.

Example: i=1, n=1, ELPBTOQRSX becomes XELPBTOQRS
i=2, n=1, ELPBTOQRSX becomes SXELPBTOQR

For each letter of the alphabet 1 is associated one of the N generated alphabet, in order, ie, the first letter is associated to the first alphabet, the second letter to the second alphabet, etc.

Example: For N=5 alphabets, C,H,I,A,V,D,F,G,M,N,E,L,P,etc. are associated, respectively to alphabets 1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,etc.

How to recognize an Bellaso ciphertext?

The ciphered message has a smaller index of coincidence than to the language of the plaintext.

In its original version, only 20 characters are used (latin alphabet, U=V)

In its original version, the message use a word-separator (space).

Clues on Italy or Vigenere are not to be neglected.

How to decipher Bellaso without key?

It is hard. However it is possible to find the number N of alphabet by analyzing frequency of one word out of N.

When Bellaso have been invented?

A book from Giovanni Battista Bellaso describing the process is dated 1553.

Source code

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