Participants of the International Students’ Olympiad in Cryptography have to solve a number of tough crypto challenges. Here are a few of the nicest ones. Can you solve them?
Did you know that there’s an International Students’ Olympiad in Cryptography? Honestly, I didn’t, until I read a recently published article about this event in Cryptologia. Apparently, this ccompetition is organized by the University of Novosibirsk, which explains why so many Russians take part. However, the event language is English, so it is no problem for non-Russians to follow.
Many tough challenges
The participants of the Student’s Olympiad in Cryptography have to solve a number of crypto-related challenges, most of which are mathematical in nature. For example, the following (problem #13 of 2015) is quite easy to explain (which doesn’t mean that it is easy to solve):
Find all integer pairs (x,y) for which the following equation holds: y2 = x3 + 56x + 6.
The first Student’s Olympiad in Cryptography took place in 2014. There were issues in 2015 and 2016, too. So, I guess that the fourth olympiad is scheduled for this year. The challenges and solutions of 2014 and 2015 are available online. You don’t have to buy the Cryptologia article mentioned above, as it contains no additional information.
The Crypto Street Challenge
The following challenge (#5, 2015) is less mathematical. It is about a secret message hidden in a picture:
Canfind the message?
The Crypto Room Challenge
The following challenge (#2, 2014) is nice, too. It reminds me of my adventure in the Crypto Escape Room in Nottingham. Can you decrypt the message you are holding in your hand?
As the solutions to these challenges are already known and available online, I recommend not to spend too much time on solving them.
Further reading: Tengri 137: How my readers solved the second challenge within a few days