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Kevin
Username: Kevin

Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 8:02 am:   

Hawk says he has software that is able to solve the 340 character cypher. Being that I've been on this board since it's inception, suffice it to say that I'm rather anxious to finally know what the meaning of it is. So Hawk, let's hear it....
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 10:19 am:   

I don't think Hawk is claiming that he solved it, but rather that the software he's using would have solved it if it were solvable.
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 1:20 pm:   

Thankyou Doug. I seen the heading and thought damn somebody done cracked it after I just told you it's unsolvable. lol
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Douglas_oswell
Username: Douglas_oswell

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 2:19 pm:   

Hawk, would your software solve a polyalphabetic? Looking at the 340, I can see certain patterns that repeat at intervals factorable by three. That might suggest something along the lines of a Vigenere.

If someone like Kaczynski put the thing together, it might very well be uncrackable. He's got the kind of math ability that would have enabled him to produce ciphers like DES using all kinds of methodologies.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 9:33 pm:   

I think one thing to keep in mind here is that ciphers are exponentially more difficult to SOLVE than to CREATE. The 340 cipher, for example, could have been designed to be read backwards, left to right, changing keys, rotating symbols (my personal favorite) or any of a gazillion other possible ways.

Suppose Z decided to have his message read using every 17th symbol. It would be virtually impossible to solve without knowing the creator's intention. It would not require a Kaczynskirific intelligence level, mathematical skill or advanced knowledge of codes to create but would certainly vex even the best computer program. If I'm not mistaken, even the relatively simple 3-part cipher stumped even the best cryptologists at the time.

My best guess would be that the 340 cipher, like the 3-part cipher, IS solveable but would probably provide nothing to help identify its creator.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 6:09 pm:   

I think Zodiac wanted the cipher to be solved eventually. I don't think he would have intentionally made it unsolvable. I suspect that the first one being solved by an everyday kind of couple, that weren't even amateur cryptologists, might have been a bit grating for Z. I expect he would deliberately make the next one more difficult to solve, but not impossibly so or at least he didn't mean to. The increased number of symbols coupled with the shortness of the message, would make it more difficult to solve even if Z didn't do anything else tricky with the cipher.
As I think I've said before, an important key to solving this is figuring out the role the '+' symbols play in the cipher. Going by the letter frequency of Z's other letters, no single letter should show up so many times. Having the '+' always stand for one letter would be such an obvious entry point for solving it, that I don't believe that's what it's used for. I thinks it is more likely punctuation, a null, a modifier or something else in the cipher, not a certain letter.

These opinions are subject to change due to new info, new ideas, or general contrariness.
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Deoxys
Username: Deoxys

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 7:13 pm:   

I like that idea, Bargle. I think if the 340 cipher is ever solved, it will be the result of a similar creative approach, perhaps guessing a few key words and a whole lotta luck.

I've toyed with the idea that symbols may be rotated either by line or some other method. There appear to be some repeating patterns occurring every fourth line and the two sets of letters that form a different letter when rotated (H/I and N/Z) stand for the same letter in the 3-part cipher (H&I= T and N&Z= E). Does that make sense?

By this method, symbols that don't change when rotated (those containing dots, crosses, circles or squares) are constants. It's a theory in progress anyway, lol.
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Bargle
Username: Bargle

Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 5:55 am:   

FWIW
I have tried several different arrangements of the symbols, hoping that one would present a greater number of repeated digrams and trigrams, but it didn't work. There were no significant increases and in at least one, a definite decrease.
Some of the rearrangements I tried were spiral clockwise, zigzag, Japanese style which is written top to bottom and right to left. I tried something I called 'fence rail' but I can't remember what arrangement that was. It all blurs after a while.
A thought, since the Hardins cracked the first one by looking for 'LL', Z may have taken special effort to mask that pairing.
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Ed_neil
Username: Ed_neil

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 12:44 pm:   

I've often wondered if Z used single symbols to represent doubled letters to mask them, in addition to using multiple symbols for common letters. I understand basic cryptography, but there were some old posters back in the day (such as Glen Claston) who were really on the ball and understood it backwards, forwards and inside out. It'd be great if he and/or some of the others got back into the case to help out...
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Hawk
Username: Hawk

Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Sunday, December 10, 2006 - 1:53 am:   

When ever I try to crack ciphers, the first thing I do is stare at it for as long as possible to try and find what I call word clues.

For example: Look at the last two symbols of line 17 and the first four symbols of line 18. The word LITTLE could fit there.

Look at the two W's seperated by the C and Crosscircle on line 18. The words People,Start,That,Slowly,Gladley etc... could fit there.
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Sean
Username: Sean

Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 9:10 am:   

Don't forget "BomB".
Anyone spot Orion's belt?

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