Talk:Nihilist cipher

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Fixes and improvements[edit]

User:Securiger suggested the following fixes/improvements for the article:

  • We have a moderate amount of history on the variants, but almost none on the basic version;
  • The example is weak because it doesn't demonstrate either of the special problems mentioned under cryptanalysis. However I quite like both the plaintext and key, so to improve it I would preferably fiddle with the Polybius square;
  • The glib "assuming a 5 × 5 square" probably needs to be qualified by the fact that the Russians, using Cyrillic, normally did not use a 5 × 5 but rather a 6 × 6;
  • Why the heck don't we have a non-carrying addition page? OK it's just digitwise mod 10, but mod 10 with a particular historical significance;
  • Need to ID the other fellow to use VIC;
  • Some of the links need to be d'abed or redirected;
  • Lots of interesting words and phrases could also be linked; and
  • Probably plenty of copy-editing required. It includes two exclamation points, far too many for an encyclopaedia article!

An Historical Example[edit]

The following cryptogram appeared in the Pall Mall Magazine, London, 1896, Secrets in Cipher part IV, and was described as insoluble. It is a Nihilist number cipher.

36 49 97 65 45 43 30 24 76 88 66
54 45 26 44 55 59 57 22 36 ? ? 

The composer Edward Elgar was so proud of having solved it that he painted the numbers on a wooden box that still sits in the Elgar Birthplace Museum.

--Steve (talk) 02:24, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Cryptanalysis of "Sorge" variation.[edit]

"in practice they seem never to have been successfully cryptanalysed."

States the current article. This was achieved, admittedly many years later, by British intelligence. See "Spycatcher" by Peter Wright p375. AnnaComnemna (talk) 12:34, 11 March 2015 (UTC)