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Cryptanalysis?


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#1
Tripredacus

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Do you like those movies where the characters have to figure out some kind of code in order to solve some mystery or get some place? Well those types of code exist in real life, but sometimes they can be nearly impossible to figure out. Want to give it a try for yourself? Well there is an unsolved murder case where the victim had "encoded" notes in his pocket. Its been over 10 years and still no one knows how to decipher them.

I gave it a shot, and ended up with a headache. Sure I can see patterns in there but can't make heads or tails of it. The victim was said to have come up with this technique when he was a child and authorities are hoping that if they are deciphered, then they can get a glimpse into his past just days before he was found, or maybe even identify a suspect.

You can see these two notes here:
http://www.fbi.gov/n...1/image/gallery

Note: some members outside of the US may or may not be able to go to this website.

:ph34r:
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#2
Glenn9999

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The headache part for me is deciphering that writing. Other than that, for a simple letter substitution (which is what it would about have to be for someone to write that without the aid of computing machinery), I'm surprised that it hasn't been cracked. Worse come to worse, there isn't that much text there that wouldn't eliminate a brute force solution (substitute letters, write to text, then look at text to see if its intelligible). In a way, though, if they're going to ask the public this it would be nice to know what they HAVE tried.

#3
Tripredacus

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That's true, but wouldn't that be a bad idea? Would the FBI really want people to know all the techniques they use for code breaking? Probably not. I am going to guess that they tried all the applicable types on the wikipedia page for cryptanalysis, plus probably some techniques that no one knows about.
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#4
Glenn9999

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That's true, but wouldn't that be a bad idea? Would the FBI really want people to know all the techniques they use for code breaking? Probably not. I am going to guess that they tried all the applicable types on the wikipedia page for cryptanalysis, plus probably some techniques that no one knows about.


Yeah, you could say that. I really find it all strange. You'd think they'd have the smartest/most knowledgeable people in this area and would have the best ideas already tried instead of putting it out to a public that is arguably even less knowledgeable than they are. Besides, we don't even know if it's just a bunch of random letters that this person started writing on notes just to mess with people. As far as we know, this person might be having a big laugh now with people thinking that it is actually anything.

Hard to know for sure.

#5
buyerninety

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Yeah, you'd think they would have recovered more than just 2 examples of code -
what about left impressions from the guys notepad/papers/book covers in his
residence?
They also COULD HAVE removed the recovered fingerprints that obscure the
lettering!, & give out basic information such as;
- left or right handed, can handwriting experts say if he was printing across from
left or right, and from up or down, do impressions show which of these notes
was filled out 1st (or one folded & concurrently overlaying the other -on this point
I mean that multiple straight definite folds in 1st paper would indicate that part of
each page was simultaneously referred to and concurrently transcribed by the guy
-to give a 'two part [page]' code i.e. part of both pages contain the encoded whole
of a single encoded message - if this is the case, would also explain why the 2nd
page is clearly divided by borders [?each border=one separate msg/note?] ).
To me most importantly where initially he started writing from!
If you had that start point, you could follow along the printing, trying to figure as
you go -after all, the guy had to be thinking hard as he wrote the code.
[Admittedly, it looks like it starts from left due to left justification of margin of paras
& writing is non justified on right side of lines.]
I think maybe one note is 'T' heavy?, so perhaps he was tossing in false lettering
(filler) as he went. (Handwriting experts should be able to form a view if certain
often repeated letters appear 'thinner', which could indicate (quicker?)writing as
'toss it in' filler, compared to thicker lettering, more carefully printed, maybe more
likely to be code. Thinner lettering you 'might' assume may be more easily
printed - & if its only a 'tossed in filler' character/symbol, you'd think he wouldn't
waste time making filler from more elaborate characters, not consistently anyway.)
-Also, note the 'close bracket' symbol [see printed on your 'zero' key on an english
physical keyboard] may actually be an integral part of the code - notice how the
guy takes the time to correct his outlined border on the 2nd page with a definite
straight down stroke, overwriting that bulge in the border that 'could' have been
misinterpreted by him on readback as an additional 'close bracket' symbol.
-A HIGHER base resolution pic can be viewed on the wiki page - unfortunately
still with the recovered fingerprinting marking still obscuring it partly.

Cheers

Edited by buyerninety, 08 February 2013 - 01:06 PM.





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