If you understand German you should listen to this radio broadcast about the Voynich Manuscript – including an interview with me. And then, there are two articles I have published recently.

Here’s a German radio broadcast about the Voynich Manuscript:


It includes interviews with René Zandbergen (in my view, the world’s leading Voynich Manuscript expert), Jürgen Hermes, and me.

This broadcast will air tomorrow (Sunday 2018-01-28) at 1600 on Deutschlandfunk Nova.


iX article

If you read the German computer magazine iX (I know that many do), you should not miss my article …


… about breaking historical ciphers with modern means (fee-based):



Cryptologia article

And finally, an article I wrote about the Euro HCC in Bratislava


… has now been published in Cryptologia (sorry, downloading it is pretty expensive):


Have fun listening and reading!

Kommentare (3)

  1. #1 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa.
    28. Januar 2018

    The Cryptologia article is free for subscribers, of course.

  2. #2 Bernhard Esslinger
    28. Januar 2018

    Thanks for the great iX article.

    Here two updates:

    1) Page 92, col 3:
    “Der Szene fehlt es bisher noch an Infrastruktur. Ein spezielles Webportal für Codeknacker gibt es derzeit genauso wenig wie eine entsprechende Organisation oder ein regelmäßiges Treffen.”

    Beáta Megyesi, the main organizer of the HistoCrypt 2018 (https://www2.lingfil.uu.se/histocrypt2018/index.phtml), is working at a project called DECODE and funded from the Swedish government. There, a huge amount of original cryptograms, the transcribed versions, and context information are already available. She worked together with historians, computer linguists, image processing experts, and cryptographers. In the future also cryptanalysis tools (like CrypTool 2) will be incorporated. Currently DECODE (https://stp.lingfil.uu.se/decode/search/) can only be used via invitation.

    2) Page 93, col 1:
    “Zwar gibt es das Open-Source-Programm CrypTool, das einige Analysemethoden bereitstellt, doch CrypTool ist in erster Linie ein Werkzeug zum Verschlüsseln … und nicht zum Dechiffrieren.”

    That’s not really true.
    1. CrypTool (CT) is the most wide-spread e-learning program for cryptography and cryptanalysis. This is its main purpose.

    2. There are many cryptanalysis methods implemented in CrypTool 2 (CT2). Hill climbing is already there and most of George Lasry’s methods will follow. Also automated cryptanalysis of homophones is under construction, so we hope it’s going to become the tool of choice for analyzing classical ciphers.

    3. According to
    https://www.cryptool.org/de/ctp-dokumentation/funktionsumfang or
    https://www.cryptool.org/en/ctp-documentation/functionvolume there are currently 239 functions implemented in CrypTool 2 (CT2).

    Thereof, 22 implement classical ciphers. And thereof are 21 functions helping to analyze classical ciphers. For instance, Lasry’s analysis of the double column transposition is already built in (see the template Cryptanalysis\ Classical\ Dictionary attack on the Double Columnar Transposition Cipher). [This list on the CrypTool portal website is a bit behind the current status and also has some flaws: E.g. Fialka is listed under classical cryptanalysis instead of under classical cryptography in the English list. The German list is ok in this case.]

    4. CT2 also aims to become the framework of choice for modern cryptanalysis. Currently, it has 21 functions for modern cryptanalysis and 28 modern ciphers implemented.

    5. Attached is a screenshot from the current Nightly Build of CT 2.1, showing the 24 templates built-in and ready to run to do classical cryptanalyis. The templates itself as well as the sources can be enhanced by everybody.

  3. #3 George Lasry
    28. Januar 2018

    Great article, hope will bring more people to the field.