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Encryption

A 1941 Paper-and-Pencil Cipher 75

Schneier's blog links to a photo of a 68-year-old code being employed in wartime, with a plausible explanation of what is going on in it. (The photo is from the Life Magazine archive we discussed when it went live.) "What you see here is a photo that never should have been allowed to be taken, and one which provides an amazing, one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of WWII espionage and counter-espionage. As far as I can tell, what is shown in this picture is an FBI agent in New York encrypting a message, passed from 'DUNN'... through Sebold, prior to transmitting that message to Germany via shortwave radio. ... [T]his appears to be real cryptology at work."

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We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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