Stream Cipher Breaking
This task was inspired by the first exercise of the Cryptography I course held by Stanford University at Coursera. However it is not exactly the same exercise and input data are surely different.
Stream cipher is the core idea behind many encryption algorithms. It consists of the following steps:
For examle, suppose we want to encrypt the phrase
Hello, World! and we generate the key by the formula:
key(i) = (i * 51 + 13) % 256
To be able to operate with letters we'll use their ASCII codes. We'll use
as operation to encode letter value with key value. And as for resulting values let's convert them to hexadecimal.
Here is what we get with such method:
Letters: H e l l o , W o r l d ! ASCII: 72 101 108 108 111 44 32 87 111 114 108 100 33 Key: 13 64 115 166 217 12 63 114 165 216 11 62 113 Result: 69 37 31 202 182 32 31 37 202 170 103 90 80 Hex: 45 25 1f ca b6 20 1f 25 ca aa 67 5a 50
This encryption is strong as long as key generation algorithm is not too simple. However it could be easily broken if we encrypt several messages with the same key sequence!
Now you are to try it yourself. Really there could be several approaches, but you are adviced to use the idea described below.
What if we have two messages encrypted with the same key? We can
XOR their bytes pair-wise to eliminate the values
of the key. Suppose that two original messages have letters
B at some
i-th position. Their encrypted
K is the key value for the same position. And if we
xor them together:
A^K ^ B^K = A ^ K ^ B ^ K = A ^ B ^ K ^ K = A ^ B ^ 0 = A ^ B
Of course the result we have - two letters xored - is not too informative. But what if one of the letters was a space?
We know that ASCII code for space is
0x20, while codes for capital letters fall in range
0x40-0x5f and for small
letters they fall in range
This makes it possible to distinguish spaces in original lines (if we have more than two). And when we know position of spaces, we can find out key values at these positions. Well, the rest is up to you!
Input data will contain the number of encrypted strings in the first line.
Next lines will contain encrypted strings in form of hexadecimal values separated by dots.
Answer should contain the decryption of the last string.
For the sake of simplicity strings are stripped of any punctuations, so they contain only letters and spaces. They are fragments of the famous text in English. On the other hand they are not necessarily whole sentences.
input data: 7 b7.1d.6c.c8.19.a7.1a.11.4f.86.16.c2.af.77.5f.2e.20.72.ad b126.96.36.199.4e.b5.1d.08.4c.ca.07.8d.ff.69.59.3a.29 af.1d.7b.d5.19.a7.1c.11.5a.ca.10.8d.b188.8.131.52 b5.10.7b.c3.5c.f4.1a.0f.1f.9e.1b.87.ff.77.45.2e b8.1d.72.dd.56.a3.53.0f.4a.88.1e.83.ad.6c.5e.29 b6.11.72.d5.19.a6.1c.0f.5a.99.53.85.ad.6a.47 88.58.7f.dc.19.bb.1d.5c.5b.9f.07.9b answer: I am on duty