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Home Forums The Sixteenth National Cipher Challenge: The Lost Legion Can you use decoding websites to decrypt things?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #32570
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Or do you have to program everything yourself?

    #32577
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    From the rules page: “In submitting an entry solo entrants vouch that it is solely their own work and teams warrant that it is solely their own collective work.”
    Note, winners will be asked to submit detailed descriptions of how they solved the problems.

    #32586
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I tend to use lots of simple little things I don’t even have to code – for instance, up until lately where my awesome teammate put together a bunch of code to do this quicker, I was using the ‘find and replace’ tool on notepad for monoalphabetic substitution decryption.

    But yeah honestly, whilst I’m not a coder, from how I understand it there are lots of easier ways than using a website, including your own code. I can go and search up something that will crack a bifid cipher if I want, but it’ll probably ask for loads of details that I don’t have like the input square. Instead it’s much easier for me to put a request to my friend who does all the coding, saying “Can you make a piece of code which will pair off each n and n+m characters of the cipher text, where m is the total number of characters in the text divided by 2, and then have it convert each of the 25 different possible combinations from these new pairings into randomly assigned letters from A-Z with no J, then get it to perform frequency analysis and output both the frequency analysis and the string of the letters converted from pairs of numbers?” and he’ll be like “yeah sure gimme a few days.”

    But yeah the point is in a lot of ways, writing code can be more useful than some websites which use a decryption process, because we understand the steps going on in between and don’t always need it decrypted all the way, just partially.

    #32587
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    No you can’t but i suggest you pre program some of the more common ciphers so you can rule them out

    #32596
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Joan, I feel like these rules should have been made a bit clearer at the start. In the early challenges, our team used online tools for help.

    The rules can easily be misinterpreted. The bounds of “Outside help” are often very different between programming competitors.

    #32600
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I know this is a bit late to ask, but assuming websites doing stuff like basic frequency analysis are fair game?

    #32602
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Wait, does that mean that you can or can’t use decoding websites?

    #32606
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Well it is cheating isn’t it? I’m sure some groups will have cheated, but if you do end up getting far they can, and probably will ask how you did each task.

    So don’t cheat.

    #32612
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    That’s unclear: does that explicitly exclude the use of websites?

    #32648
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Wait, so we can or cannot use decoding websites once we figure out the type of cipher?

    #32655
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Is it completely against the rules to use decoding, websites or are we treading in a grey area?

    #32662
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Four things are, I hope, true:

    1. You will get a lot more out of the competition if you do the work yourself!
    2. There is a grey area: Clearly you don’t have to write your own operating system, but using an online cracker (and I am afraid they do exist) to break the challenges is well beyond what is acceptable in the spirit and letter of the rules.
    3. We try to be fair about this.
    4. No-one has ever won the competition by using an online cracker! (In any case we ask winners to show us their working and we are looking for independence when we look.)

    All the best,

    Harry

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by .
    #32660
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I didnt see that rule 🙁

    #32667
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I presume websites that do frequency analysis are a fair game. You could even write some code to do it yourself, it won’t take long to do. But really, I should expect that tools that perform things like frequency analysis are fine. Although, I have code which can do it which I use.

    #32681
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    This is understandable, but I still think the wording of “your own work” is extremely unclear. As people have said, frequency analysis tools are allowed (I have written one myself, but unfortunately I seem to be unable to connect to the online python interpreter I wrote it in, so I have used third party tools for this… but then, what is and isn’t allowed beyond that is not clear.

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