The Journal of Craptology, “a seminal journal in its field” (Moti Yung), has two major problems. First, there has been no new edition since 2014; second, somebody has encrypted the Call for Papers. Can a reader help?

Cryptology is usually not something to laugh about. However, there are exceptions. For instance, the cartoons in my recent book Chief Security Officer are funny (at least, this is what they are meant to be). And then, there is the Journal of Craptology, the only scientific publication dedicated to cyptologic humor known to me.


A seminal journal

The Journal of Craptology is available online. It is a quite popular publication. Cryptologist Moti Yung once called it “a seminal journal in its field”. His colleague Chris Mitchell said: “If I wanted to know anything about Craptology, this is the place I would turn to first”.

The Journal of Craptology doesn’t have a peer-review. Nevertheless, publishing an article in this magazine is highly prestigious. Among the cryptologists who have authored for the Journal of Craptology are Orr Dunkelman, Tanja Lange, Daniel J. Bernstein, and Lars Knudsen. Papers accepted for publication relate to cryptology and fall into one or several of the following categories: it is funny; it is controversial; it is crap.

Here are a few articles from the Journal of Craptology that might be interesting for the readers of this blog:


Craptologic music

The Journal of Craptology is the only crypto publication that includes music. Here are a some of the songs cryptologists have contributed over the last years (the videos were taken during rump sessions at Crypto or Eurocrypt conferences):

Under surveillance

SHA-2 will soon retire

Spyin’ NSA

There is no doubt that some of the world’s greatest cryptologists are also great musicians.


Two problems

As it seems, the Journal of Craptology is currently facing two problems. First, no new issue has been published in four years. The 11th issue (published in 2014) is still the most recent one. I don’t know the reason for this delay, but my guess is that no new papers have been handed in in recent years. So if you are knowledgeable in the field of cryptography and if you can produce something funny, write a humorous crypto paper (or sing a funny crypto song) and hand it in. If you sing a song, be aware that the musical quality needs to be extremely high, otherwise your work will be rejected.

For the details about handing in a contribution, please refer to the Call for Papers (CfP). But wait! The Journal of Craptology CfP is not readable any more. Somebody must have encrypted it. Here’s the first line:

Wkh Mrxuqdo ri Fudswrorjb lv dq hohfwurqlf mrxuqdo rq fubswrorjlf lvvxhv. Sdshuv dffhswhg iru sxeolfdwlrq lq wkh Mrxuqdo ri Fudswrorjb uhodwh wr fubswrorjb dqg idoo lqwr rqh ru vhyhudo ri wkh iroorzlqj fdwhjrulhv:

This encrypted CfP is the second problem the Journal of Cryptology currently faces. Can a reader decipher it? If so, please tell us how it works.

Further reading: The Voynich Manuscript is solved – or is it?


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Kommentare (2)

  1. #1 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa.
    14. September 2018

    It’s a MASC. The first line appears to be in Hungarian, and reads:

    The Cougnar of Mgaktorold is an eremtgonim cougnar on mgdktorolim issues. Kakegs ammektey fog kuprimation in the Cougnar of Mgaktorold gerate to mgdktorold any farr into one og sezegar of the forrowinl matelogies:

  2. #2 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa.
    14. September 2018

    Sorry, my mistake, it really reads:

    The Journal of Craptology is an electronic journal on cryptologic issues. Papers accepted for publication in the Journal of Craptology relate to cryptology and fall into one or several of the following categories:

    I didn’t check every letter but I think it’s that subset of MASCs which are known as Caesar Ciphers.