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Route/Path Cipher

Tool to write text as a route. Route cipher is a transposition cipher method which consists in reading letters in a text according to a predefined route/path, as a serpentine road.

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Route/Path Cipher -

Tag(s) : Transposition Cipher

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Route/Path Cipher

Route Cipher Encoder

 Writing Direction Horizontal Lines from top-left Vertical Lines from top-left
 Reading Direction Horizontal Route from top-left Horizontal Lines from top-left Vertical Route from top-left Vertical Lines from top-left Horizontal Route from top-right Horizontal Lines from top-right Vertical Route from top-right Vertical Lines from top-right Horizontal Route from bottom-right Horizontal Lines from bottom-right Vertical Route from bottom-right Vertical Lines from bottom-right Horizontal Route from bottom-left Horizontal Lines from bottom-left Vertical Route from bottom-left Vertical Lines from bottom-left

What is a route cipher? (Definition)

Route cipher is a way of writing a message using a transposition cipher. The idea is not to write the letters from left to right and top to bottom, like normal writing, but rather to follow a predefined path, like a serpentine in a grid, or in a zig zag way.

How to encrypt using route cipher cipher?

Path-write encryption consists of writing the text in a grid/matrix and reading it using a road/path usually in switchbacks/coils/zigzags.

Example: The text DCODEROUTE, written horizontally on a 4x3 grid reads as a serpentine column DETERCOO..UD

 D↓ C↱ O⮧ D↑ E↓ R↑ O↓ U↑ T↳ E⮥ .↳ .⮥

If the message does not fill the grid, add a character like . to end the column/row.

How to decrypt a route cipher?

Decryption requires knowing the path (or at least the size of the grid) in order to write the letters of the message.

Example: The encrypted text PIN-AFD-THER on a grid of height 3 is written as

 P I N - A F D - T H E R

Column reading according to the path returns the original text.

Example: The grid path reading returns PATHFINDER

How to recognize route cipher text?

The message has a coincidence index similar to that of the plain language because it is a transposition.

The number of characters is a multiple of the width and height of the grid (and therefore can not be a prime number).

How to decipher route cipher without the route?

The best method is to try different sizes and try to see if the beginning of the message is readable. dCode allows testing multiple possibilities automatically in order to detect the most probable.

What are the variants of the route cipher?

On a grid of a given size, it is possible to write the text in the path of at least 8 (classical) ways (there are 2 possible directions for each of the 4 corners). Then reading can be a path too.

It is possible to imagine any type of path for letters, such as a spiral script. Another variant is Caesar box cipher.

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Route/Path Cipher on dCode.fr [online website], retrieved on 2023-09-23, https://www.dcode.fr/route-cipher

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