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The Collaborative International Dictionary

cryptanalysis \crypt"a*nal"y*sis\, n.

  1. the science which studies methods to discovering the secret meaning of encrypted messages for which one does not possess the secret decoding information (called the key).

  2. the methods and procedures used to discover the secret meaning hidden in encrypted messages.


n. 1 The science of analyzing and breaking of codes and ciphers. 2 An analysis or decrypting of a specific text or a specific code or cipher.


n. the science of analyzing and deciphering codes and ciphers and cryptograms [syn: cryptanalytics, cryptography, cryptology]


Cryptanalysis (from the Greekkryptós, "hidden", and analýein, "to loosen" or "to untie") is the study of analyzing information systems in order to study the hidden aspects of the systems. Cryptanalysis is used to breach cryptographic security systems and gain access to the contents of encrypted messages, even if the cryptographic key is unknown.

In addition to mathematical analysis of cryptographic algorithms, cryptanalysis includes the study of side-channel attacks that do not target weaknesses in the cryptographic algorithms themselves, but instead exploit weaknesses in their implementation.

Even though the goal has been the same, the methods and techniques of cryptanalysis have changed drastically through the history of cryptography, adapting to increasing cryptographic complexity, ranging from the pen-and-paper methods of the past, through machines like the British Bombes and Colossus computers at Bletchley Park in World War II, to the mathematically advanced computerized schemes of the present. Methods for breaking modern cryptosystems often involve solving carefully constructed problems in pure mathematics, the best-known being integer factorization.

Usage examples of "cryptanalysis".

It has been estimated that cryptanalysis saved a year of war in the Pacific, yet the histories give it but passing mention.

The officer was Joseph John Rochefort, the only man in the Navy with expertise in three closely related and urgently needed fields: cryptanalysis, radio, and the Japanese language.

Safford in the three subsections most closely involved with cryptanalysis were Lieutenant Commanders George W.

The solution of the purple machine was, in fact, the greatest feat of cryptanalysis the world had yet known.

This kind of work, particularly in the early stages of a difficult cryptanalysis, is perhaps the most excruciating, exasperating, agonizing mental process known to man.

Errors, caused perhaps by garbled interceptions or simple mistakes in the cryptanalysis, jarred these delicate analyses and delayed the work.

By the time of Pearl Harbor he was again able to do some cryptanalysis, this time of German systems.

Following which, Qalqashandi explains lucidly the principles of cryptanalysis and demonstrates with two examples.

But the technique of its solution lies at the heart of the cryptanalysis of nearly all more sophisticated substitution ciphers.

He contributed a technique of cryptanalysis that is of supreme importance today.

He was a 1915 graduate of the Army Signal School and knew enough about cryptanalysis to devise an ingenious method for almost automatically determining the letters of a Playfair keyword.

In France, however, Moorman did not engage in any actual cryptanalysis, except perhaps to help out, since his work as head of g.

His success cemented his attachment to cryptanalysis, and he followed this demonstration of the low estate of high-level cryptography with a 100-page memorandum on the solution of American diplomatic codes.

In a three-day marathon of cryptanalysis, Manly, aided by Miss Rickert, perceived the pattern of this 12-step official transposition cipher, with its multiple horizontal shiftings of three- and four-letter plaintext groups ripped apart by a final vertical transcription.

A man named Benzing took such delight in the Turkish language and Turkish cryptanalysis that his confreres regarded him as a veritable Turcomaniac.