Skip to comments.Abu Dhabi: An Emirati and former banker has created a secret code language he says is unbreakable
Posted on 06/12/2010 7:35:59 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Abu Dhabi: An Emirati and former banker has created a secret code language he says is unbreakable.
Mohammad Gaith Bin Mahah Al Mazroui is challenging skilled coders, hackers and cryptographers to break the encryption of his cipher.
Al Mazroui said there might be only one known cipher to date that had proven to be unbreakable,.
This was called the one-time pad, where every letter was transposed to another letter located a random distance away. But Al Mazroui said his cipher, which he called Abu Dhabi Code, was based on a group of symbols he said he designed himself.
"Encryption takes a written document and scrambles it, making it an unreadable document," he said.
"This is called ciphertext and requires a ciphertext decoder to uncode it and return it back to a readable format." Encrypting, he said, might replace, for example, every letter (a) with (z) and replace the letter (e) with (x) every time it saw it. So if you were to look at the document it would be difficult to read but a reader could quickly recognise the pattern and replace the letters correctly.
In his cipher, Al Mazroui said every letter was replaced by a symbol that he designed, which he said did not belong to any language in the world. "I worked for a year-and-a-half till I could reach this international code serving English, Arabic and any other language," Al Mazroui said. "I made the symbols up, designed them myself making sure they don't belong to any language in the world. It's a totally a new secret language," he said. Al Mazroui said anyone could create their own cipher, and the key length determined the strength of a cipher. Al Mazroui said many ciphers were a "64 bit" which was considered somewhat strong, but not excessively. The cipher which the internet used was a 128 bit, which was deemed very strong by industry standards, he said. Although it seemed even the strongest encryption could be broken by hackers using coder skills and software, Al Mazroui vowed his Abu Dhabi Code was unbreakable and could be the safest on offer for a host of different applications. "Experienced coders can use cryptanalysis known as brute force. This is a technique that attempts to decrypt a document by running through all the possible keys. But it would be almost impossible to decrypt any document encrypted using the Abu Dhabi cipher," Al Mazroui said.
Mysteries: Some famous unsolved codes
Kryptos: A sculpture at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia has baffled some for two decades. The sculpture contains four encrypted messages, of which only three have been solved. Kryptos was created and encoded by Washington DC sculptor Jim Sanborn with a system designed by the Chairman of the CIA's Cryptographic Centre.
The Zodiac Killer: This serial killer terrorised the bay area of San Francisco in the mid 1960s. He killed seven people (although he claimed to have killed 37), and taunted police by sending a series of coded letters to newspapers. Most of the codes were broken but one remains a mystery. The killer has never been caught.
Shugborough: An art history mystery in the form of a sequence of random letters at the bottom of a monument at Shugborough Hall in England. The inscription (O U O S V A V V) is underneath a reversed replica of a painting called the Shepherds of Arcadia by Nicholas Poussin.
The Beale ciphers: The Beale ciphers date back to an 1885 pamphlet which contained the location of buried treasure in the US state of Virginia. The story goes that a Thomas Jefferson Beale gave a box with three encrypted messages in it to an innkeeper in 1820. Attempts have been made to decode the ciphers over the years and it is now believed that the pamphlet may have been a hoax.
Amateurs shouldn't try encryption.
But is it as good and successful as the code talkers? Never broken.
Yeah, but it still stands for known languages.
But it would be almost impossible to decrypt any document encrypted using the Abu Dhabi cipher," Al Mazroui said.
"Almost" is not a real good word to use around cryptography.
Anyone can send a set of garbage, demand that someone “break the code”, and claim that it is unbreakable when there is no message.
Cryptography is a skill of patience I don't have, but if this is the challenge, I think it's going to be pretty dang easy to break.
“Paging Bruce Schneier, will Mr. Bruce Schneier please come to the lobby.”
Seriously, I’d just about bet Bruce could easily take it down. Check a few of his cryptogram newsletters to see what he’s about.
I got the first message:
“Ouyay an’tcay eakbray ymay odecay.”
If you have a fixed set of symbols that you use on a block of text, those symbols are still going to be used in whatever frequency is typical for the use frequency for their substitutions for that language. What he needs to do is to have the letter substitution be changed according to some predetermined standard such as the first 100 letters of the message are encoded by the novel alphabet where A to Z = 1 to 26, the second 100 are encoded where A to Z = 5 to 26 and back through 4, etc, varying both the numbers in succeeding groups and the starting point in the novel alphabet for each. If one doesn’t know the varying group length or the start point for each group in the novel alphabet, one can’t easily look for any kind of frequency distribution for particular letters such as “e” or for common letter combinations such as “ed” “ing” “ly” and double letters such as “tt” in “letter,” “bb” in “bubble,” “dd” in “added,” etc.
This should take all of about a week or so.
This isn’t tech, it’s stupidity.
Yeah, but your premise is useless. He invented a new language that only he and the second party knows. The way to crack this code isn’t to crack this by frequency of any letters or letter combinations alone, but rather comparing character frequency to all known languages, finding out what family of languages this constructed language is based on and decipher some of the cognates and frequently used words in that constructed language.
It won’t be a perfect cracked code, but you may be able to pick off a few simple words via cognates and frequently used words. All constructed languages are related to some language family or the other.
The ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ at Bletchley Park might differ with the author.
Anybody can make up his own personal secret code and defy another to break it. If no one else understands it then it is a shallow lesson in futility.
Like they say “The only true way to have 3 people keep a secret is to kill 2 of them”.
The Poles will crack it in a weekend.
So what? The VIC cipher was never actually broken: the Soviet agent who used it defected and told us the algorithm and what he and his handlers were using for keys—straddling checkerboard to convert the letters to one or two digit numbers, followed by Vigenere-style encryption of the digits, followed by, if memory serves, a round of ordinary keyword columnar transposition and one of disrupted keyword columnar transposition, followed by reconversion to letters using the straddling checkerboard.
That is the way that I interpreted it as well. It is also interesting that some kind of formatting seems to be used, as the lines are of varying length.
Wouldn't it be better to have him sell this to Al Queda, and have them use the unbreakable code?