German cipher expert Nils Kopal has produced a number of interesting crypto videos. His CrypTool 2 Youtube channel is a must-see for everybody interested in classical cryptography.

Frequent readers of this blog certainly know Nils Kopal, a German crypto maniac and crypto specialist, who is the main developer of the crypto e-learning software CrypTool 2. The following picture of Nils was taken at the Euro HCC 2017 in Smolenice, Slovakia.

When I recently blogged about the infamous Zodiac Killer and his encrypted letters, I mentioned a nice video Nils has created and made accessible on YouTube:

This video shows how the first message of the Zodiac Killer, also known as Z-408, can be solved with the software CrypTool 2. Unfortunately, neither CrypTool 2 nor any other person or software has ever broken any of the remaining three Zodiac cryptograms.

The Zodiac Killer video is by far not the only one Nils has created. In fact, Nils even operates a YouTube channel dedicated to crypto basics and codebreaking: The CrypTool 2 channel. As the name suggests, the software CrypTool 2 plays a major role in this channel. The following trailer gives a short introduction:

One of Nils’s videos is about the double columnar transposition (DCT) and how George Lasry solved a challenge cryptogram made by me with this method in 2007. I like this video particularly well because I’m mentioned in it.

At the moment, twelve videos are available on the CrypTool 2 channel and I’m sure the current Coronavirus crisis won’t keep Nils from producing more. As a last recommendation, here is how the CrypTool 2 software solves the first two messages on the Kryptos sculpture:


Further reading: Celebrating 20+ years of CrypTool


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Kommentare (1)

  1. #1 Nils Kopal
    Krefeld & University of Siegen
    19. März 2020

    Hi Klaus,
    thank you very much for the nice blog article!

    One additional info: We have right now 12 videos in the classical ciphers series. Additionally, we have some videos not in any series, like the introduction video on CrypTool 2 or the video about the CrypTool meeting last year in Munich. Then, we have 8 videos for new CrypTool 2 developers in the developer series and 3 videos in a new series called “Basics of Cryptology”, which i am currently working on 🙂