2.4 Substitution Ciphers

One of the more popular cryptosystems is the substitution cipher. It is commonly used in the puzzle section of the weekend newspapers, for example. The principle is simple: Each letter in the alphabet is replaced by another (or possibly the same) letter. More precisely, a permutation of the alphabet is chosen and applied to the plaintext. In the puzzle pages, the spaces between the words are usually preserved, which is a big advantage to the solver, since knowledge of word structure becomes very useful. However, to increase security it is better to omit the spaces.

The shift and affine ciphers are examples of substitution ciphers. The Vigenère cipher (see Section 2.3) is not, since it permutes blocks of letters rather ...

Get Introduction to Cryptography with Coding Theory, 3rd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.