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Scytale Cipher

Tool to decrypt/encrypt using a scytale. Scytale is a very simple transposition cipher used in ancient Greece and by spartans. A band is wrapped around a rod, a message is written, and when the band is unrolled a ciphertext appears.

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Scytale Cipher -

Tag(s) : Transposition Cipher

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Scytale Cipher

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Tool to decrypt/encrypt using a scytale. Scytale is a very simple transposition cipher used in ancient Greece and by spartans. A band is wrapped around a rod, a message is written, and when the band is unrolled a ciphertext appears.

Answers to Questions

How to encrypt using a Scytale ?

Scytale Encryption uses a cylinder and a band characterized by its number of turns L of the band around the cylinder.

Example: Code DCODE with a band L=3.

The message is written along the cylinder, one letter per band, and when the end is reached, go to a new line.

If needed, complete the last line with another character, e.g. X or _.

Example:

DCO
DE_

The ciphered message is the band unrolled, (i.e the message read by column).

Example: The cipher text is DDCEO_

How to decrypt a Scytale ciphertext?

Scytale Decryption requires to know the number N of letters by turn of the band (the size of the cylinder), or L the number of turns around the cylinder.

Example: The ciphertext is DDCEO_ (6-character long) and the band is L=3, then N=2 (because 6/3=2).

Write the message on the band and wraps the band around the cylinder (of correct size) and the plain text should appear.

Example:

DCO
DE_
the original plain text is DCODE.

How to recognize Scytale ciphertext?

The coincidence index is equal to the one of the original text (as it is a transposition cipher).

How to decipher Scytale without the size?

One can crack Scytale by testing all possible size of the rectangle.

What are the variants of the Scytale cipher?

Scytale is a practical application of the Caesar Cipher.

When Scytale have been invented?

8 to 6 centuries BC

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Source code

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Questions / Comments


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