Computer sciences and Information technology
The Encryption Experience
One of the first truly difficult cryptanalysis and hacking examples was the enigma machine. In this assignment, you will encrypt your own crafted message utilizing the tools featured in Chapter 3 of the text.
For this assignment, you will:
-Visit this website: https://observablehq.com/@tmcw/enigma-machine
– Encrypt the following message: Cyphers are fun.
-Repeat this process a few times to see how it works.
Upon completion of your encryption exercise, read through the following related summary and experiment with this version of an enigma machine: https://www.101computing.net/enigma-machine-emulator/
To summarize your encryption experience, write a short paper discussing how ciphertext machines work and
approximately how long it would take to break your code using a standard brute force method.
Your paper is required to be 2-3 pages in length, not including the title and reference pages.
How Ciphertext Machines Work And Approximately How Long It Would Take To Break Your Code Using A Standard Brute Force Method.
Ciphertexts are primarily encrypted texts transformed from plaintexts through encryption algorithms. These tests are unreadable;e and require the user to utilize a key to decrypt the ciphertext into plain text. Notably, the Enigma machine has been one of the infamous ciphertext machines (101 Computing, 2021). The machine will encode information so that it cannot be read by either a computer or a human unless one has the ciphertext for decrypting the data or message.
Personal experience on how the ciphertext machines such as Enigma work, specifically the encryption of information, would start by entering the first letter of the message ‘Cyphers are fun’ on the keyboard. Then a letter would light up to show what has been replaced in the encrypted message. On the other end, a similar process was happening specifically where I typed in the ‘ciphertext,’ and the letters that lit up would be the decoded message. Within the box, the system is built around three physical rotors, with each one taking in a letter while outputting it as a different letter. This letter will pass through the three rotors to bounce off a ‘reflector’ at the end. Then it passes back via all three rotors in the other direction. The bord then lights up to show the encrypted result, and the first of the three rotors will click on the round one position to change the output even when the second letter input is similar to the initial one. With the initial rotor turning via all the 26 positions, the second one clicks round, and after it has gone round all the way, the third click round starts its process. This process has led to over 17000 distinct combinations before the encryption process repeats itself.
Put the letters of the message into my standard keyboard then a signal would pass via the plugboard that switches the letters around. Then the rotors would change the output letters for each one of them. The code’s complexity was added when the rotor would rotate one step after every keypress (Hern, 2017). After completing the message, I copied the lit letters and sent the encryption via the morse code. It is prudent to note that the system depends on the sender and receiver for setting up similar patterns. The receiver is to write down the apparent gibberish after keying in the particular letter, they will find the required letter that lights up, and the encrypted message will be clear.
Regarding the process of breaking code using the brute force method, the advance positions taken by the rotors alter the substitution of the message as per the encoding or decoding procedure of the message (Taylor, 2019). The brute force attack will encompass a situation where the attacker submits a number of paragraphs and paraphrases, hoping that one of the guesses would be correct. The attacker systematically checks the possible passwords until they find the correct one. They could alternatively guess the jets created from the identified passwords or phrases with this procedure considered a crucial exhaustive search. Most of these cases lead to top results, especially when the attacker properly understands machine learning. This prompted the content advice in users to ensure that their personal information is not shared as they are the gateway to accessing passwords.
There are no definite durations in which a brute force attack takes to be completed as they are known to last for even more than a day. This also applies to the code created for the message I have encrypted. Generally, the strength of an encryption system is determined by the resilience it has against the attack (Rothke, 2010). For this code, it is evident that the numerous steps done by the rotors after keying in every letter of the message will make this code very complex to be broken into easily. Over 17000 combinations would be created for each letter, and hence it would take a long time before an attacker breaks this code. The code developed here is of considerable length; hence it would be difficult for their attacker to break the code successfully.
According to Scramboix (2016), it would take a brute-force attack on AES-256 averagely over 27 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years. One will need an estimated 2255 keys, which is the total size of the keyspace divided by 2. This is because one will find the answer on average after searching half the keyspace. Therefore the time taken to carry out the attack, when measured in years, is simply 2255 / 2,117.8 trillion, which leads to 27 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years (Scrambox, 2016). Conversely, the universe has only existed for 15 billion years. Therefore, it is evident that it is impossible for one personal computer to brute-force crack the AES-256 encryption within a human being’s lifetime, let alone the universe’s lifetime.
101 Computing. (2021, January 26). Enigma machine emulator. Retrieved from https://www.101computing.net/enigma-machine-emulator/
Hern, A. (2017, November 30). How did the Enigma machine work? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/14/how-did-enigma-machine-work-imitation-game
Rothke, B. (2010). Almost there. Retrieved from https://www.rsaconference.com/library/blog/brute-force-cracking-the-data-encryption-standard
Scrambox. (2016). How long would it take to brute force AES-256? Retrieved from https://scrambox.com/article/brute-force-aes/
Taylor, J. (2019, June 17). Cryptanalysis: How cipher-text machines work. Retrieved from https://www.essaytyping.com/cryptanalysis-how-cipher-text-machines-work/