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Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher

Tools to decrypt/encrypt Rail Fence automatically. Rail Fence cipher is a transposition cipher consisting in writing a text in zig-zag and read it from left to right.

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Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher -

Tag(s) : Transposition Cipher

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Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher

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Rail Fence Decoder




Paramètres and Options






Rail-Fence Encoder









Answers to Questions (FAQ)

How to encrypt using Rail Fence cipher?

Rail Fence Encryption uses an integer for the number of levels of the zigzag.

The encoded message is written in zig-zag (like a rail fence/sawtooth) along a path with N levels/floors.

Example: Encrypt DCODEZIGZAG with N=3 is writing

D---E---Z--
-C-D-Z-G-A-
--O---I---G

The cipher message is read by rows.

Example: The encrypted message is DEZCDZGAOIG

How to decrypt Rail Fence cipher?

RailFence decryption requires to know the number of levels N.

Example: Decrypt the message DEZCDZGAOIG with N=3

Write the expected zigzag form and complete it by lines, before reading as zig zag

Example:

X---X---X--
-X-X-X-X-X-
--X---X---X
then
D---E---Z--
-C-D-Z-G-A-
--O---I---G

Example: The original plain text is DCODEZIGZAG.

How to recognize Rail Fence ciphertext?

A message encoded by Rail-Fence has an index of coincidence equal to that of the language of the original text.

Frequency analysis reveals usual occurrences of common letters similar to a plain text.

All references to zig-zag, sawtooth, rails, path/track/route, etc. are clues.

How to decipher Rail Fence without the number of levels?

Rail Fence can be cracked by testing all levels from 2 to N. Use the Brute-force attack button.

What are the variants of the Rail Fence cipher?

There are several variations:

— The fence may begin with a peak or a hollow (up or down).

Example: A...E
.B.D.
..C..
(↘↗ hollow)

Example: ..C..
.B.D.
A...E
(↗↘ peak)

— The first letter is not necessarily the base of the peak or hollow, the zig zag can start in the middle (equivalent to add spaces at the beginning)

Example: ....D.
.A.C.E
..B...
(One shift)

— It is possible to allow the spaces and punctuation, which shifts the characters.

What is the difference between Rail Fence and ZigZag?

None, Rail Fence is the original word, ZigZag is the mnemonic term.

When Rail-Fence was invented?

Rail-Fence is a basic transposition, no date or creator is recognized.

Source code

dCode retains ownership of the online "Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher" source code. Except explicit open source licence (indicated CC / Creative Commons / free), the "Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher" algorithm, the applet or snippet (converter, solver, encryption / decryption, encoding / decoding, ciphering / deciphering, translator), or the "Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher" functions (calculate, convert, solve, decrypt / encrypt, decipher / cipher, decode / encode, translate) written in any informatic language (Python, Java, PHP, C#, Javascript, Matlab, etc.) and all data download, script, copy-paste, or API access for "Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher" are not public, same for offline use on PC, tablet, iPhone or Android ! Remainder : dCode is free to use.

Need Help ?

Please, check our dCode Discord community for help requests!
NB: for encrypted messages, test our automatic cipher identifier!

Questions / Comments

Thanks to your feedback and relevant comments, dCode has developed the best 'Rail Fence (Zig-Zag) Cipher' tool, so feel free to write! Thank you!


Source : https://www.dcode.fr/rail-fence-cipher
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