Thursday, June 15, 2006

VIC cipher?

Still interested in the spy number mystery. A third message appeared and again there was a phone number mentioned and a new number message could be heard. However this message was somewhat different from the rest:

> Mein Fraulein,
> I hear the weather in the South is good this time of year. Won’t you call me?
> ///678///248///2352///

The tone in this message is somewhat different, as also mentioned by Emmanuel Goldstein during the ‘Off The Hook’ show. It could be this is a message not made by the original creator of the messages surfaced earlier but on thing gives me the idea this is done by the same person(s). The group Numbers:

Group 415 (4 + 1 = 5)
Group 617 (6 + 1 = 7)
Group 134 (1 + 3 = 4)

Group 134 is following this patron. It could be that if the message is not created by the original creator this is just (A) a coincidence or (B) the second person also noticed this and created a group number that was following the patron of the previous group numbers. Speculations speculations…..

A letter send by one of the listeners of the ‘Off The Hook’ show mentioned it reminded him of the VIC cipher; the VIC cipher is a straddling bipartite monoalphabetic substitution superenciphered by modified double transposition cipher. At least that is what the CIA named in the trial of Colonel Rudolf Abel in 1957.

The VIC cipher was a pencil and paper cipher used by the Soviet spy Reino Hayhanen, codenamed "VICTOR".

It was arguably the most complex hand-operated cipher ever seen. Although certainly not as complex or secure as modern computer operated stream ciphers or block ciphers, in practice messages protected by it resisted all attempts at cryptanalysis by at least NSA (and perhaps other organizations such as GCHQ) from its discovery in 1953 until Hayhanen's defection in 1957.

The VIC cipher has several components, including mod 10 chain addition (a recursive formula used to generate a sequence of pseudorandom digits), a straddling checkerboard, and a disrupted double transposition. Until the discovery of VIC, it was generally thought that a double transposition alone was the most complex cipher an agent, as a practical matter, could use as a field cipher.

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