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Crypto history expert Frode Weierud has found a number of encrypted messages in an archive. Can we help him to decipher these cryptograms?


I’m sure, many readers of Klausis Krypto Kolumne know Frode Weierud. Frode, a retired software developer from Norway, has been involved with cryptology for about 50 years. As a leading Enigma expert, he is mentioned in several books I have written (especially in Nicht zu knacken) and on this blog. Among other things, Frode has deciphered hundreds of Enigma messages from WW2. His home page is: http://cryptocellar.org.

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Three unsolved consular messages

Currently, Frode is involved in some research on a number of cryptograms dating from 1938 to 1941. Unfortunately, he is unable to give any further information about the origin and specifics of these messages apart from saying that they are Japanese consular messages sent to and from the Foreign Office in Tokyo.

Frode has provided me three of these cryptograms for publication. The first message is dated January 29, 1940:

BBBTT YIXBA YIVYL OXUAB ARPBO UJTNU ASZAF UKURL
YORAY MAXAD EWDKY IBEKY WITOS WIYVU MAMAN REKTI
ASTCA EUKIM IVYDE UCHRE CEXLO HUNAL OXUAB ARXPU
WIFOH IGAEB

The second message is dated December 23, 1939:

JAPANESE ETC  BBBTT GASAN AVKOY GATVI RUNUV
PYECS GARWY ADFAK ITDEX MAXAD YORAY TOVSE
ATUMK IDEUW DEAGS OULYR FUWME URGBE FVSGE
DEAGS

Message #3 (December 17, 1940) is:

BBBTT GEAYU EETRA UKURL AWYCZ SOGLA FUWME BYZAK
NYWHI EWAYO FOIWA MUIJU DEAHT FUWME BYZAK URHAC
URTWE FUWME AIRKA NYAYI DYRAP ABFYS FUWME EIYEV
AWYCZ SOGLA FUWME AZSYE EHXOG KISUZ UKROL IBCAD
FOISF BETVE UKURL GAXUP URGEH YORAY ARORG GAYOV
COWDY KAWLE TAIFD CIZIN NEMNE ERUUL NOVZE IOSPO
TAASY TAIFD NYWHI OEWFY GEAYU UJTNU IVYDE RHUYS
YIAVE IBRYZ KUYAX SJYUL ITYOM IBAHZ CRIPI SYYEX
IHALD POFFU HAJWU STOWU SIMAP UGZED GUNVI HGNHI
CIZIN EWIHP IPDFU SEYGO ITDEX HERYD ODYLB EGNHI
OTOYN ROAHW CITFE ABIGY TUXFU IBOWA UJTNU EHAOD
BYBDU MAXAD AIRKA RHOKN IBAPT KULGE CEXLO EWIHP
DYFLA BUYHB CYJAZ MAXAD UARKY HIPYJ ELUWU MUJRO
NOENV THODO URGBE ASLAC ABWOF AIRKA JYZYM TAISP
IXVLE EBMBE TRIGI NIYWR YORAY GEWBO ABKAD MAXAD
IDRET IBAHZ UAKOV JYZYM CUFMY FOFUK OFGEN URHAC
GYODS IBBOR JUSOS UNWYT OYCXE ROUYA OPYFT MAXAD
TAISP UHUXO FEDYS UHTWO OFHYH IFSRI MAXAD EIGLI
RHUSM GYJWE DEAGS OASPU OLKYW LYDAV FAWXU IYXGY
AWYCZ AIRKA NOBYK DUNVY SLORI ITDEX ETZGI HADGI
EKXEL UKPUH HAEHI MAXAD EGPOM ----- UGSUM BYOOJ
JYZYM CUGUP MOODD UKPUH SIDFE UGLVI JUSOS UOJIR
CHITO NICXO ULFTE OVCYC HADGI IVOFD EGTWE EGNHI
CEWAR SVINT GHUNG NEUWR MYILN UHNAL ERKWY UHPDA
FYIKT OYCXE OEWFY YPZUX SYLIC CUWDY AMZYW AIRKA
TEVLA ----- EGNHI FOHZA EKBLI DEAHT ABVUZ NEMNE
AMZYW EISOZ KUPKE IDBEK KIULN ITIOD TEVLA SHISY
omful QUAME KGYML MGNQL PRLBZ MHJTG PRLCY MHJBN
MHINN PRLSH MHJTG PRLTG MHJHT PRLYB MHITT PRUOD
prpjk MHIZZ PRYAK MHJBN PRYOZ MHIXX PSAXU MHIVV
MHIPP PSURU MHINN PSUXA MHIJK PSYDO MHIFG PSYKI
PSYVW MHHZN PSYZY MHIDE PTAAK MHHRS PTALI MHHXY
MHHJL PTATE MHHGE PTAYW MHGWY PTEKE MHGSU PTIBE
POFAB MHKFG POFAC MHJDP POFAE MHJBN POFAG MHHLA
MHFUX POFAZ MHHZN POGOE MHHTU NZNNZ PRUOD PTIBE
BEPST POFAM CRKHZ MRHIH NQNYO LERCR ASMNR NROQT
GVEXJ HXCWX AZHIB AIFQH NROQT GMEZC MRHIH GPEMR
LLFMI NROQT LCSON DNCIQ GHVAT LLHNT
Japanese Consul

According to Frode, there are other diplomatic messages of a similar kind, but these three cryptograms stand out as something apart from the rest, as they all carry the BBBTT starting group. Frode expects to get access to a much larger collection of these messages in the near future.

 

A commercial codebook?

The encryption used here is probably based on a codebook that assigns a five letter group to every frequent word of a certain language. It is known that the Japanese used dozens of codebook-based encryption methods during World War II, for example the JN-25 code.

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Kommentare (3)

  1. #1 Thomas
    30. Mai 2017

    A synopsis names a TICOM report “D 50” about Japanese WWII codes:
    https://archive.org/stream/ticom/EuropeanAxisSignalIntelligenceVol.1Synopsis#page/n87/mode/1up
    Unfortunately cannot find it.

  2. #2 Merzmensch
    30. Mai 2017

    Interesting! If it’s Japanese I can help, at least with translation to English/German.

  3. #3 Klaus Schmeh
    30. Mai 2017

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:
    A very cool research project.