My users ure usually very successful when it comes to breaking encrypted postcards. Anyway, the one I’m going to introduce today might be a tough challenge.
… Germany’s leading comedy hacker, crypto book expert, and hacking book author, has provided me scans of his latest acquisition: an encrypted postcard from Unterhausen, Germany.
The recipient was an unmarried Lady (“Fräulein”) named Therese Ernst. I’m pretty sure that the sender was her lover. Apparently, this man sent the card from Ingolstadt, Germany in 1899. I wish I could tell you where exactly Therese lived, but this isn’t that easy. Wikipedia lists six places named Unterhausen in southern Germany. I’m not sure which one is located in Bayerisch Schwaben, the region mentioned in the address.
Let’s now look at the picture side:
As can be seen, the encrypted message consists of only 21 letters. It can be transcribed as follows:
ABCDEFGBH IJKLM NBAOLBI
It goes without saying that solving such a short cryptogram may be difficult, if not impossible. It is very likely that there are several plaintexts that fit with the letter patterns.
Nevertheless, there might be ways to break this encryption and determine the plaintext the sender intended. Perhaps, somebody finds more encrypted texts based on the same encryption method. Or perhaps, the glyphs are constructed in a systematic way, which allows for reconstructing them.