[Intelforum] Potential Kryptos Solution (98 Characters That Remain Unsolved)
IntelForum Mailing List
intelforum at lists101.his.com
Wed Aug 10 15:58:03 EDT 2005
Is anyone on the list interested in Kryptos? Kryptos is the cipher sculpture
created by James Sanborn and is parked on CIA's grounds. Several sections of
the cipher have been cracked with the exception of the last 98 characters of
quadrant III. I found a digital copy of US Army Field Manual 34-40-2 Basic
Cryptanalysis on the net and spent a few days reading it.
>From what I learned from the field manual, I applied some brute force
attacks upon the unsolved 98 characters and this is what I came up with, if
anyone who is working on it wants to find a way to structure it in the way
that James Sanborn designed it. I am unsure if this is correct but it may be
enough for some savvy crypto folks to finish it.
The first thing I did was create a table for the Kryptos sculpture using the
full spectrum of the alphabet with the previous key used to solve the other
parts (the name of the sculpture itself):
The next step was the most interesting. I took keywords like "cipher",
"collection", "communication", etc. and then I applied the words to the
unsolved segment string of 98 characters.
Using the word "transmits" brought success. Here is what I uncovered using
the first 20 unsolved letters in the cipher
T R A N S M I T S F I N A L R E P O R
O B K R U O X O G H U L B S O L I F B B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
R A N B I G C R A Y S X R I T S F A S
So working with other words after "transmits" I eventually came up with
"transmits final report" as the initial sequence of the unsolved cipher.
It appears that Mr. Sanborn used a substitution cipher method describing
something that he did at CIA. "Ran big Crays XR" must refer to Cray
To solve this as I did is simple. Go to the very top line of the table I
made and starting with the word "transmit" and take each letter, the letter
"T" being the first letter, and then go down the table until you find the
letter beneath it. For example, the T in the table on the very top line is
the 5th letter. Then drop down in that column until the T matched the first
unsolved cipher letter which is O and then write down the first letter of
the line which is "R" (the starting letter for the line).
When you do that for the first 20 letters of the unsolved cipher, both the
message and substitution appears. This was a primitive way of cracking it,
but hopefully some of you folks that have done this form of cipher can use
this to crack the rest of it.
More information about the IntelForum