MysteryTwister C3
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Four levels

Four levels of increasing difficulty: From pen & paper to complex mathematical problems.

Limited attempts

You have only a limited number of attempts to solve each challenge. Be certain of your answer before you submit it.

Be fast

Be fast and earn a place on the Hall of Fame. The first four to solve each challenge will be displayed permanently.

Special Level X

The special level X contains cryptographic problems which are currently not known to have been solved.



Cipher challenges on four levels

 

Level I crypto challenges

Level I Challenges - Pen & Paper

Level I challenges are similar to crossword puzzles from newspapers and can be solved with little cryptographic background. You might not even need a computer for solving level I challenges — all you need is a bit of clever thinking and probably a pen and paper. A program like CrypTool applied to a level I challenge can help reveal the answer within minutes or even seconds, if the necessary algorithms are already built in. Hence, if you are new to cryptography, but nonetheless interested in the mysterious topic of cryptanalysis, give the level I challenges a try. You will almost assuredly meet quickly with success.
 
Level II crypto challenges

Level II Challenges - Programming skills required

Level II challenges require some background knowledge in cryptology and usually some computational power. Additionally, you may require tools that are not available in such convenient packages like CrypTool, OpenSSL or Sage. Therefore, you must first thoroughly understand the problem in order to write a computer program, which helps you getting along. It could take hours or even days to solve a level II challenge. Hence, if you consider yourself well-armed with cryptologic knowledge (such as if you are a university student in a cryptographic course), give the level II challenges a try. Success may not come easily, but it will be a worthwhile endeavor.
 
Level III crypto challenges

Level III Challenges - Extensive computing power recommended

Level III challenges require a thorough background in cryptanalysis and usually significant computational power as well. The problems in this level represent current research topics that are believed to be very difficult to solve. Thus, practical solutions may not even exist and ready-to-run tools almost certainly do not. The methodology to solve some of these challenges may already be known, but it may require such a huge amount of computational power that only a large group of people working together in a distributed system could obtain the solution. Challenges in this category mark the thin line between algorithms that are still secure and those that are not. Solving them may take weeks or even several months. Hence, challenges in this level are intended for entire research groups with many experts in cryptanalysis, programming, and distributed systems. Success cannot be guaranteed, but if you are the first to successfully solve one of these challenges, it probably would catch the attention of the scientific community. Of course, it still remains up to you to publish or present any such scientific techniques and results.
 
Level X crypto challenges

Level X Challenges - Unsolved ciphers

Most level X challenges contain problems that have remained unsolved for a long time. The fact that they have been unsolved regardless of numerous attempts suggests these challenges being hard. However, a simple idea can probably reduce the difficulty of it to a simple level I challenge — currently it is just unknown if and how they can be solved. Of course such a challenge cannot be solved with a simple codeword, since even we (the respective author and the MTC3 team) do not know the solution (the plaintext, the original message or the approach). So if you discover a promising solution you should either contact the author or the MTC3 team. Furthermore, you can publish your findings in a scientific journal such as Cryptologia or Journal of Cryptology.

 

Additionally, you may require tools that are not available in a convenient package like CrypTool.


All Challenges (282)

Ordered by date posted, the most recent appear first.

The Vatican Challenge — Part 4

[lasry-12] - 0 users already solved this challenge.
 
 
 

The Vatican owns some encrypted manuscripts waiting for decryption. Can you find the solution for an archive manuscript from 1535/1536?
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Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published on: 2019-07-07 20:46
Maximum number of attempts for this challenge: 15

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The Vatikan Challenge — Part 3

[lasry-11] - 0 users already solved this challenge.
 
 
 

The Vatican owns some encrypted manuscripts waiting for decryption. Can you find the solution for a message from 1721?
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Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published on: 2019-06-25 17:14
Maximum number of attempts for this challenge: 15

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Handycipher — Part 10

[kallick-25] - 1 user already solved this challenge.
 
 
 

Handycipher is a low-tech stream cipher, simple enough to permit pen-and-paper encrypting and decrypting of messages, while providing a significantly high level of security. Handycipher was first published in 2014 and further improved in 2015 and 2016. Part 10 of the Handycipher series presents the same challenge as Part 9 but with a different key choice. It is a ciphertext-only challenge.
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Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published on: 2019-06-25 17:10
Maximum number of attempts for this challenge: 15

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Rank User (#1) Achieved points (Global score) y-m-d - h:m:s

D3d4lu5 (D3d4lu5) 2000 (278422) 2019-06-26 12:28:07
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Handycipher made in love — Part 2

[kallick-24] - 12 users already solved this challenge, 1 is working on it.
 
 
 

Part 2 of the series "Handycipher made in love" is almost identical to Part 1 except that the solution you are asked for is the correct key that Alice used to produce the ciphertext rather than the short message embedded in the plaintext.
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Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published on: 2019-05-21 16:47
Maximum number of attempts for this challenge: 15

All successful users of this challenge

Rank User (#12) Achieved points (Global score) y-m-d - h:m:s

Armin Krauss (argh) 2000 (185115) 2019-05-21 19:53:02
D3d4lu5 (D3d4lu5) 2000 (278422) 2019-05-21 22:37:28
Viktor (Veselovský) 2000 (151602) 2019-05-21 23:37:36
Kurt Gebauer (Yokozuna) 2000 (159388) 2019-05-22 04:17:23
#5 Alain Collignon (vexilla72) 2000 (87833) 2019-05-22 11:15:40
#6 Michael Möller (michaelm) 2000 (173129) 2019-05-22 12:28:56
#7 Danny Higgins (hamster147) 2000 (33007) 2019-05-22 12:46:19
#8 Dominik M. (Sgt. Pepper) 2000 (97919) 2019-05-22 15:03:47
#9 Eugene (lim0n) 1824 (38765) 2019-05-23 13:37:11
#10 George (Theofanidis) 1725 (109124) 2019-05-23 23:00:36
#11 Random Dude (rnd) 1469 (90929) 2019-05-31 23:52:30
#12 E.T (Ertheb) 1324 (81809) 2019-06-23 17:55:08
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Homophonic Encryption — Part 4

[kopal-04] - 11 users already solved this challenge.
 
 
 

Homophonic encryption is a modified version of the monoalphabetic substitution: One plaintext symbol can be substituted by more than one ciphertext symbol. In part 4 of this series we consider a distribution of the homophones based on English language statistics like in part 2, but the alphabet doesn't contain the blank. This is a ciphertext-only challenge. Try to crack the ciphertext and extract a specific word from the plaintext.
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Authors: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published on: 2019-05-08 21:31
Maximum number of attempts for this challenge: 15

All successful users of this challenge

Rank User (#11) Achieved points (Global score) y-m-d - h:m:s

Viktor (Veselovský) 2000 (151602) 2019-05-09 00:56:19
Snake (snk) 2000 (77889) 2019-05-09 14:10:58
Armin Krauss (argh) 2000 (185115) 2019-05-09 17:58:49
George Lasry (george4096) 2000 (299488) 2019-05-09 20:48:39
#5 D3d4lu5 (D3d4lu5) 1824 (278422) 2019-05-10 18:25:33
#6 E.T (Ertheb) 1613 (81809) 2019-05-13 19:52:53
#7 Random Dude (rnd) 1456 (90929) 2019-05-20 13:42:29
#8 Dominik M. (Sgt. Pepper) 1444 (97919) 2019-05-21 18:51:04
#9 sarah b (silva) 1321 (22120) 2019-06-12 14:03:49
#10 Stephan (Stephje1978) 1254 (21710) 2019-07-20 19:51:56
#11 Bart den Hartog (Bart13) 1251 (132400) 2019-07-23 02:41:07
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   +++    [14:32 - 23.07.2019] MarVardoul solved the Level I challenge 'Number Sequence'    +++    [12:53 - 23.07.2019] ludimus solved the Level I challenge 'Modified Caesar Cipher'    +++    [10:23 - 23.07.2019] ludimus solved the Level II challenge 'Not-so-Secret Message from Malawi — Part I (RSA)'    +++    [09:52 - 23.07.2019] yann solved the Level I challenge 'Advent-Challenge — Part 1'    +++    [07:38 - 23.07.2019] Yokozuna solved the Level II challenge 'The T52 Sturgeon Challenge — Part 3'    +++