Tool to decrypt/encrypt with Caesar Box, a Roman version of the scytales for ciphering text by transposition.
Caesar Box Cipher - dCode
Tag(s) : Transposition Cipher
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Caesar Box is a transposition cipher used in the Roman Empire, in which letters of the message are written in rows in a square (or a rectangle) and then, read by column.
Caesar Box Encryption uses a box, a rectangle (or a square), or at least a size W characterizing its width (that corresponds to the number of column of text)
Example: Take W=3 and the message to encrypt DCODE.
The message is written by rows and every W characters, add a new row. This will delimitate a box of characters.
If needed, the last row can be completed with another character, e.g. X or _.
The encrypted message is obtained by reading the box by column.
Example: The cipher text is DDCEO_
Caesar Box decryption requires to know the dimensions of the box (width W by height H)
Example: Take W=3, and the ciphertext is CSAAER which is 6-character long, then H=2 (as 6/3=2).
Write the text in column in the box. The plain text appears by reading each row.
Example: The original plain text is CAESAR.
If the length of the message is a perfect square, it is a good clue.
This cipher appears in many movies or books, the most known are the scytale (parchment / ribbon from Sparta, Greece), the cipher used in Journey to the center of the Earth from Jules Verne (Arne Saknussemm's cryptogram), etc.
One can crack Caesar Box by testing all possible size of the rectangle.
Sometimes the message has a square number of characters (16 = 4.4 or 25 = 5 * 5 or 36 = 6 * 6, etc.), which makes it possible to deduce the size of the square, but sometimes it is a totally different number of characters.
When the box is a perfect square, encryption and decryption are identical.
The scytale is the other name of this cipher.
This encryption is similar to that of the scytale cipher, which have appeared in Greece, between the 10th and 7th centuries B.C., a long time before romans and Caesar (Caius Iulius).
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Cite as source (bibliography):
Caesar Box Cipher on dCode.fr [online website], retrieved on 2023-12-03,