Cryptography

The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Episode 36 – Musical Cryptography

by Audrey Scudder

Mixing Console and LaptopWe are constantly surrounded by music in our everyday lives, and as technology has progressed, it’s become even more prevalent. But what if this music could be used as more than just a form of entertainment? For centuries, authors, composers, and scientists have been experimenting with the possibility of musical cryptography and steganography. In this episode, we explore different methods of encrypting and hiding messages in music, the history of the practice, and how musical cryptography affects how we analyze music from the past and how we could produce music in the future.

Audio:

“Acoustic Guitar Loop” from http://www.orangefreesounds.com/

“Radio Noise” from http://www.orangefreesounds.com/

“Electronic Beat” from http://www.orangefreesounds.com/

“Variations on an Original Theme ‘Enigma’, Op.36” By Edward Elgar from https://imslp.org/ (Movements 1, 9, 10 used)

Sources:

Thicknesse, P. (1772). A Treatise on the Art of Decyphering, and of Writing in Cypher with an Harmonic Alphabet. London: W. Brown.
Owano, N. (2016, August 20). Music Tempo Carries Hidden Information. Retrieved from https://techxplore.com/news/2016-08-music-tempo-hidden.html.
Estrin, D. (2018, March 15). Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Still Keeps Music Detectives Busy. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2018/03/15/593771944/elgars-enigma-still-keeps-music-detectives-busy.
arXiv, E. T. from the. (2016, August 17). Party Algorithm Hides Messages in Ibiza Trance Music. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602194/party-algorithm-hides-messages-in-ibiza-trance-music/

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, September 19). Dorabella Cipher. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:31, October 30, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dorabella_Cipher&oldid=916457471

Image: “Mixing Console and Laptop,” Dejan Krsmanovic, Flickr, CC BY

Episode 35 – The Lorenz Cipher

by Spencer Jones

The Lorenz MachineThis podcast is about the Lorenz cipher machine. The Lorenz cipher was Hitler’s preferred method of encryption used by himself and all his officials for communication. The Lorenz is simply described as an Enigma machine—- with millions of more possible keys and configurations. This podcast describes the conception of the Lorenz, how the encryption works, and how the code was ultimately broken by the Allies with the help of the world’s first computer.

References:

(n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2019, from https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/courses/soco/projects/2008-09/colossus/lorenzmachine.html.

(n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from https://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/courses/soco/projects/2008-09/colossus/history.html.

How Lorenz was different from Enigma. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/how-lorenz-was-different-from-enigma/.

Lorenz SZ-40/42. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2019, from https://www.cryptomuseum.com/crypto/lorenz/sz40/index.htm.

The Imitation Game: Turing, Bletchley and the Colossus. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2019, from https://www.cliomuse.com/the-imitation-game-turing-bletchley-and-the-colossus.html.

The Lorenz Cipher. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2019, from http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/lorenz/fish.htm.

[singingbanana]. (2014, September 7). Lorenz: Hitler’s “Unbreakable” Cipher Machine [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBsfWSQVtYA

[Sounds of Changes]. (2015, November 24). Teleprinter automatic printing [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh0-TcjqieE

[Sounds of Changes]. (2015, November 24). Teleprinter typing [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlAEXiJX1xc

[ParadoxMirror]. (2011, June 26) Radio Static Sound Effect [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wffIdh0CZWs

(2019). Snowy Forest – Electronica Ambient Chill Out – Free Download [Recorded by Kabbalistic Village]. On Free Music to Use Youtube, Vimeo videos and Podcasts – Updated August 2019! [MP3 File]. Soundcloud.

Image: Lorenz cams, Ted Coles, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Episode 34 – The McCormick Cipher

by Chandu Kona

Ricky McCormick's NoteRanked among the greatest unsolved ciphers in history, Ricky McCormick’s notes have baffled intelligence agencies, wanna-be sleuths, and everyone in between for the past two decades. In 1999, Ricky McCormick was found dead in a ditch with two notes hidden inside his pocket. First revealed to the public a decade later, the notes appear to be filled with nonsense and unreadable sentences; but this seemingly random sequence of characters may not be so random at all. The authorities believe that these notes may hold the key, quite literally, to solving Ricky McCormick’s murder, but to this day the notes have yet to be deciphered.

References

Ricky McCormick. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cipherfoundation.org/modern-ciphers/ricky-mccormick/.

Tritto, C. (2019, July 29). Code Dead: Do the encrypted writings of Ricky McCormick hold the key to his mysterious death? Retrieved from https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/code-dead-do-the-encrypted-writings-of-ricky-mccormick-hold-the-key-to-his-mysterious-death/Content?oid=2498959.

Help Solve an Open Murder Case, Part 2. (2011, March 29). Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/help-solve-an-open-murder-case-part-2.

Nickpelling, & Nickpelling. (2013, March 12). Ricky McCormick’s mysterious notes… Retrieved from http://ciphermysteries.com/2013/03/12/ricky-mccormicks-two-mysterious-notes.

More information may be found in any one of the hyperlinks pasted above.

Audio Sources

https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/genres/genre/contemporary/

https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/genres/genre/mystery/

All music taken from Kevin Macleod on incompetech.filmmusic.io.

Image: Ricky McCormick Note #2, Wikimedia Commons

Episode 33 – Jefferson’s Wheel Cipher

by Stella Wang

Jefferson's Wheel CipherThomas Jefferson is revered as a diplomat, politician, and thinker, but his role as an innovator is lesser-known. One of his many inventions includes the wheel cipher: America’s first cryptographic device. In this episode of One Time Pod, the story of the wheel cipher, and Étienne Bazeries’ invention of an extremely similar device 100 years later, is uncovered.

Narrator: Stella Wang

Thomas Jefferson: Zach Gruber

Étienne Bazeries: Cooper Scanlon

Works Cited

Kahn, D. (1973). The code breakers: The story of secret writing. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Wheel Cipher. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/wheel-cipher.

Candela, R. (1938). The military cipher of commandant bazeries. New York: Cardanus Press.

Cypher Wheels. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://people.smp.uq.edu.au/Infinity/Infinity%204/Cypher_wheels.html

Audio Sources

Retrieved from orangefreesounds.com

  • Lounge House Chillout Background Music
  • Magical Harp
  • Tension Music
  • Whistle Noise
  • Mysterious Piano Theme

Retrieved from http://www.patrioticon.org/patriotic-soundfiles.htm

  • Yankee Doodle

More information

http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Bazeries_cylinder

https://www.staff.uni-mainz.de/pommeren/Cryptology/Classic/4_Cylinder/deViaris.html

Image: Jefferson Disk, Wikimedia Commons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_disk#/media/File:Jefferson’s_disk_cipher.jpg

Episode 32 – W. B. Tyler

by Wayne Wu

This episode talks about the story of two ciphers that appear in the magazines in the 1980s. A reader named W. B. Tyler wrote the ciphers in a letter and sent to the editor Edgar Allan Poe. The two images below are the two ciphers of W. B. Tyler. After these two ciphers were published in the magazines, these two ciphertexts had been forgotten for about a hundred fifty years and no one had solved these. With the proposition that Tyler and Poe were actually the same person, these two ciphertexts emerged again. Finally, these two ciphertexts were solved, but more mysteries came up. In this podcast, you will not only learn the methods of solving these two ciphertexts, but also the mystery behind the ciphertexts. Want to know more about the mystery of W. B. Tyler and Edgar Allan Poe? You definitely can’t miss this episode.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Hodgson, J. A. (1993, October 1). Decoding Poe? Poe, W. B. Tyler, and Cryptography, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/27710899?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.

Christensen, C. (2006 Fall). Ciphers that Substitute Symbols, from https://www.nku.edu/~christensen/section 5 symbols.pdf.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Gold-Bug” (1843). (2019, July 18), from https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/edgar-allan-poes-the-gold-bug-1843/.

Tomokiyo, S. (2015, January 7). Solution of Tyler’s Cryptograms in Poe’s Article, from http://cryptiana.web.fc2.com/code/poe2.htm#SEC1.

Bokler Software Corp. (2000, October 13). Cipher Solved But Mystery Remains, from http://web.archive.org/web/20120824222113/http://www.bokler.com/eapoechallengesolution.html

Audio Sources

Alexander Blu. Airy melancholic synth pad. Retrieved from: http://www.orangefreesounds.com/airy-melancholic-synth-pad/

Main Street Walk. Retrieved from: https://www.audioblocks.com/stock-audio/main-street-walk-rxhgnqhnudhk0wxrmvp.html

 

Episode 31 – The Unabomber Ciphers

by Kellia Love

The Unabomber's ShackMy podcast “Kaczynski Ciphers: The Unabomber’s Unused Encryptions” is about the serial killer Dr. Theodore Kaczynski. It covers what he did before starting a life of crime, the reason for his crimes, the consequences of his actions, and ultimately, what led him to be caught and his criminal career coming to an abrupt halt. The podcast also covers how the FBI initially reacted to the ciphers that they found and how they went about the situation. For a good portion of the podcast, I explain how the two codes Kaczynski created worked, and also provided an example of how someone could encode something using his methods.

References

Kifner, John. (1992, April 6). On the Suspect’s Trail: Life in Montana. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/05/us/suspect-s-trail-life-montana-gardening-bicycling-reading-exotically.html

Kintz, Theresa. (2014, December 16). Interview with Ted Kaczynski. Retrieved from https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/theresa-kintz-interview-with-ted-kaczynski.html

Klaus, Schmeh. (2014, March 8). Klaus Schmeh’s Unabomber Cipher Page. Retrieved from https://scienceblogs.de/klausis-krypto-kolumne/klaus-schmehs-unabomber-cipher-page

Klaus, Schmeh. (2016, September 4). The Ciphers of the Unabomber. Retrieved from https://scienceblogs.de/klausis-krypto-kolumne/2016/09/04/the-ciphers-of-the-unabomber/?all=1

Knowles, William. (1997 December 26). Cryptographer Examines Kaczynski’s Journal.

Unabomber. (2016, May 18). Retrieved from www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/unabomber

 

Audio Sources

From https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music?nv=1

  • Magic
  • Voyage
  • Reminisce
  • Something New

Image: Unabomber shack, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Episode 30 – Hieroglyphics

by Daniel Kim

HieroglyphicsOne of the oldest written languages ever, Egyptian hieroglyphics have remained an unsolvable mystery for hundreds of years. And while the intent was not to hide any sort of message, the process of figuring out the correlation between hieroglyphic characters and its meaning took centuries to figure out, which is why they can be considered one of the earliest forms of cryptography known to mankind.

Works Cited

Cryptographic hieroglyphic writing. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/hieroglyphic-writing/Cryptographic-hieroglyphic-writing​.

This article helps make the connections between hieroglyphics and cryptography: how the two relate, or rather how hieroglyphics are the earliest example of cryptography. The fact that this ancient language confused many experts for centuries shows the complexity of the language and the cracking of them would be difficult.

Dirda, M. (2012, August 22). Book World: ‘Cracking the Egyptian Code,’ by Andrew Robinson, explores hieroglyphs. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-world-cracking-the-egyptian-co de-by-andrew-robinson-explores-hieroglyphs/2012/08/22/db83be96-e0f5-11e1-a19c-fcfa365 396c8_story.html​.

The actual cracking of the hieroglyphics is what I want to focus on, because this is essentially what I believe makes this language a cipher language. This will go into who figured out the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics and how he/she was able to figure it out.

Scalf, F., & Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. (n.d.). The Rosetta Stone: Unlocking the Ancient Egyptian Language. Retrieved from https://www.arce.org/resource/rosetta-stone-unlocking-ancient-egyptian-language​.

Related to the source above, this will go into the actual cracking of the cipher language. Specifically, the Rosetta Stone was an instrumental part of the process, so I want to touch upon the rock that holds the secrets of the Egyptians.

Scoville, P. (2019, October 10). Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Egyptian_Hieroglyphs/​.
This article will help me get into a lot of basics of Egyptian hieroglyphics, such as its purpose, how it was constructed/made up, and how it was used back in the time of the ancient Egyptians.

Singh, S. (2011, February 17). History – Ancient History in depth: The Decipherment of Hieroglyphs. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/decipherment_01.shtml​.
This article, which is actually written by Singh, is an overview of everything from above. This covers mostly its constructs, how it was cracked, as well as several geniuses of the 17th and 18th centuries that were obsessed with the phenomenon.

Audio Sources

Retrieved from https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/

Egyptian Ceremony

Retrieved from https://gumroad.com/

Dark Tension Rising

Retrieved from https://themeforest.net/

War Drums

Inspirational Background Music

Retrieved from http://soundbible.com/

Wind

Retrieved from youtube.com/

Title: Jazzy by LiQWYD

Genre and Mood: Hip Hop & Rap + Calm

License: Royalty-free music for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram videos giving the appropriate credit.

Retrieved from https://www.toneden.io/afterinfinity-music/post/continuum-royalty-free

Continuum

Retrieved from http://www.orangefreesounds.com/

Simple Peaceful Piano Melody

Mystical Background — Mysterious and Melodic Music

Image: Hieroglyphics,” Andrea, Flickr (CC BY-SA)

Episode 29 – Hash Functions

by Maxim Mukhin

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)The hash function is a one way cryptographic tool used to convert words into numbers. Using this function, a website can compare passwords and other sensitive information without actually storing any information except for the numbers, which are meaningless to any unauthorized user. I give a brief introduction as to how in the 1960’s the idea of hashing was created. I then move on to describe potential ways in which hash functions are broken, and the weaknesses of certain examples. Moving into the 1980’s I introduce the two main types of hash functions used in the public sector, MD and SHA. I give an overview of their general idea and discuss some implications of the SHA, which was created by the NSA.

Citations:

Preneel, B. (2008). The First 30 Years of Cryptographic Hash Functions and
Stevens, H. (2018). Hans Peter Luhn and the Birth of the Hashing Algorithm. IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved from: https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-history/silicon-revolution/hans-peter-luhn-and-the-birth-of-the-hashing-algorithm

Silva, J. (2003). An Overview of Cryptographic Hash Functions and Their Uses. SANS Information Security Reading Room. Retrieved from: https://www.sans.org/reading-room/ whitepapers/vpns/overview-cryptographic-hash-functions-879

Dodis, Y. Ristenpart, T. Shrimpton, T. (2009). Salvaging Merkle-Damgard for Practical Applications. Advances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT ‘09, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Retrieved from: https://eprint.iacr.org/2009/177.pdf

Cimpanu, C. (2019). A quarter of major CMSs use outdated MD5 as the default password hashing scheme. ZDNet. Retrieved from: https://www.zdnet.com/article/a-quarter-of-major-cmss-use-outdated-md5-as-the-default-password-hashing-scheme/

Music from https://filmmusic.io:

“Amazing Plan” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Beauty Flow” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Tyrant” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Marty Gots a Plan” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

“Willow and the Light” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Image: Whirlpool galaxy (M51), By NASA and European Space Agency,  Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3863746

Episode 28 – Lucifer

by Shivam Mohite

The Data Encryption Standard served as the precursor for many of the encryption algorithms that would be employed during the digital age. The prevalent encryption method for 20 years following its inception, DES – and its first iteration, LUCIFER – were instrumental in concealing American communications from malicious foreign operatives. This podcast will not only explore the development of the Data Encryption Standard, but the historical context surrounding its inception. While the Data Encryption Standard has now been proven to be breakable by modern computers, the theory underpinning its mechanics proved to be a lasting strategy when developing new encryption algorithms. DES is, therefore, rightfully regarded as the mother of all modern encryption algorithms.

Works Cited

Audio Sources

Retrieved from https://http://www.orangefreesounds.com/category/music/background-music/

  • Dreamy Ambient Background Music Loop
  • Electronic Beat
  • Hi tech Electronic Background Music 120 bpm
  • Lounge Deep House Chillout Music Synth Theme
  • Relaxing Thinking Time Music

Retrieved from http://soundbible.com/tags-wind.html

  • Wind Blowing

Further Reading

Image: DES Untwisted Ladder, Wikimedia Commons

Episode 27 – Numbers Stations

by Hannah Batson

RadioNumber stations are one of our most well known forms of modern day cryptography. It was first used during the end of World War I, and was later used through World War 2, and the Cold War. Today you can find many active number stations on your average online shortwave frequency radio. This podcast explores the workings of number stations, as well as popular stations that have been recorded throughout the years. Considering the recency of the confirmation of number stations, and the little knowledge that we have on these stations, this podcast will merely dive into the theories of this mysterious topic.

Works Cited

Careless, J. (12 January 2018) ​Do Shortwave ‘Number Stations’ Really Instruct Spies? Radio World. Retrieved from https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/do-shortwave-numbers-stations-really -instruct-spies

Goldmanis, M. (24 May 2018) ​Explaining the ‘Mystery’ of Number Stations. ​War on The Rocks. Retrieved from https://warontherocks.com/2018/05/explaining-the-mystery-of-numbers-stations/

Goldmanis, M. ​Before Enigma: The Early Number Station Monitors. ​NumberStations Research and Information Center. Retrieved from https://www.numbers-stations.com/articles/before-enigma-the-early-numbers-stations-monitors/

Sorrel-Dejerine, O. (16 April 2014) ​The Spooky World of the ‘Number Stations’.​ BBC News Magazine. Retrieved from ​https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24910397​.

Audio Clips

Tissot B. (Composer). Deep Blue [Audio File]. Retrieved from 

https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/deep-blue

Tissot B. (Composer). Enigmatic [Audio File]. Retrieved from 

https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/enigmatic

Gong Station Chimes [Audio File]. Retrieved from 

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Conet_Project/The_Conet_Project/gong_station_chimes

HM01 [Audio File]. Retrieved from http://priyom.org/number-stations/digital/hm01# 

The Lincolnshire Poacher mi5 [Audio File]. Retrieved from 

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Conet_Project/The_Conet_Project/the_lincolnshire_poacher_mi5

The Sweedish Rhapsody [Audio File]. Retrieved from 

https://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Conet_Project/The_Conet_Project/tcp_d1_01_the_swedish_rhapsody_irdial

V13 [Audio File]. Retrieved from http://priyom.org/number-stations/other/v13

Image: Radio, pxhere, CC0

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