Gary Klivans, a specialist in breaking gang encryptions, has been featured many times on this blog. Now, he has given an interesting interview to scientific magazine Nautilus.
Frequent readers of this blog know Gary Klivans. Gary used to work as a corrections officer at a prison in New York state, where members of criminal gangs made up a sizable part of the prison population. He learned that to handle them, he needed to understand the encryption codes they used to communicate. He taught himself to decipher their encrypted messages and became one of the most sought-after codebreakers in the country.
Gary retired from his job with the rank of Captain. In retirement, he works as a forensic cipher consultant. He sifts through encrypted messages sent to him by law enforcement agancies from around the country. In addition, he teaches codebreaking classes.
Of course, it is well possible that this sequence of letters has no meaning at all.
Gang codes book
Gary Klivans has published a great book about encrypted messages by prison inmates and gang members: Gang Secret Codes: Deciphered.
This book is not available in European book stores, but it can be ordered in the US. In his book, Gary introduces about 20 encrypted messages from criminals and gang inmates and how he solved them. In addition, he provided me information about a few cryptograms that are not covered in the book. The following message was one of the easier ones (it was sent to a prison inmate):
Gary broke this message by guessing words, as can be seen in the following figure:
Later, Gary realiszed that this message was written with a word processor in a well-known Star Wars font.
Knowing this, it would have been easy to decrypt this text without using codebreaking techniques. Here’s the cleartext:
So I could not find a generator online but there is an Aurebesh font you can download for both Mac and PC and install. I’ve been reading into how to take pictures of individual snowflakes. It is an amazing process. After the Holiday I’ll send you in an article about it with some examples. Tell Brian I said get his shit together and not to be a nigger. Tell him to use the time to find himself. He is a good kid and can do a lot. Hopefully you get to work release soon. Give me a call when you go. My number is in the card.
Merry Christmas asshole.
Book six is not out yet. The world lied. Winter is coming but no one knows when. There is talks that it will be released when the next season of the show starts. An interview with Martin I saw he says if people don’t leave him alone about it he will have the red comet he has had in the sky for the whole series must hit and destroy Westeros…
I told you I would do it. Hope you had fun.
Interview: “A lot of people can’t see what I see”
Now, Gary has given an interview to scientific magazine Nautilus. It is available online. “I have a knack for this [gang codes]. I see the patterns,” Nautilus quotes him. “Even as I’m printing the paper out, the words are jumping off the page at me. A lot of people can’t see what I see.”
Who can break this cryptogram?
Gary Klivans doesn’t want to be photographed for fear of gang retaliation. However, the article features a picture of an encrypted message he holds in his hands. It is not contained in his book.
Apparently, this message is encrypted in a Pigpen Cipher. The cleartext is written below the ciphertext. Can a reader decipher this message or read the cleartext (maybe a combination of both works best)?
Further reading: How Gary Klivans solved an encrypted letter from a prison inmate