Cryptography Page

Each spring since 2009, the Lafayette College Math Club has run an annual Cryptography Competition. The idea behind the competition is that teams of students will break a series of coded messages.  Each unbroken code leads the team to the location of the next clue.  A hint guides you along the path to breaking the code, and the use of Google and other ways to figure out the references (and my little quirks) is always helpful.  The team that is the first to break the last coded message or the team that breaks the most codes wins (cash as well as bragging rights).  Thus, the competition is half code-breaking and half scavenger hunt.

Each year, the event kicks off with a lecture on a topic on ciphers or cryptoanalysis.  Faculty and students spotlight different topics, including the Polish codebreakers of World War II (presented by Tom Yuster), the Hill Cipher (presented by Joy Zhou), and RSA encryption (presented by Derek Smith).  A particular highlight was a guest lecture by Elonka Dunin, an expert on the Kryptos Cipher located at CIA headquarters.

Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the event was cancelled last year, but look forward to the event appearing again in Spring 2002.

In the meantime, if you want to have some fun, try to crack the final clue from a few years ago.

 

Hint: 

UKXTD   MABL  VHWX   TGW   RHN   FTR   UX   TUEX   MH

UKXTD   MAX   SHWBTV’L   VBIAXK.

 

Message:

╛ ┬ ║ ┌ └

╬ ╒ ╡

┤ ─ ╥ ↔

♣ ♦ → ┌ └  ╛ ♣  ┘ ╡ ┼ ☺ ☻

→ ╘ ←┌ ┴ ↔ ┐

╞  ► └

↨ ▼ □ ─ ┼

→ ● ↓ ↔

╛ └ ║ ┐

╕ ♠ ╒ ┘

☺ ┬ ↔ │ □ └ ╘

═ ↔ ♣ ╛ ─ ├ └

♣ ← ╬ ▼ ║ ▲

┤ ● ╨

├ ♠ ↔ ─ ♥

☻ ╒ ♦ ╘

╞ └ ← ■

┬ ╛