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Thank You!

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  • #87862

    It’s close to the end of the challenge now, but I just wanted to make this topic for myself and anyone else to thank Harry and his team for the amazing learning experience that they’ve allowed us to go through this year.

    I first discovered the cipher challenge around 4 years ago, and sort of casually participated in them, only able to solve transposition and monoalphabetic substitution ciphers. Last year and this year, I started dedicating more time to the cipher challenge, and started trying to prepare my own tools in the few months before the challenge started.

    I was at first disappointed about being completely stumped at the final cipher this year, but now I’m glad, since I learnt so much through doing it.
    This learning experience disguised as a “competition” has made me teach myself all these ciphers and the programming skills needed to write encryption and decryption tools for them.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    [A real pleasure, glad you enjoyed it and got so much from it. If you fancy writing a bit more about this and sending us a screen shot or photo, we would love to add it to our community page. Harry]


    @Shinglington, good. Nice to hear that someone is learning something. If you want to win next year (if you are eligible),
    then the time to start preparing is now. Not just encryptors and decryptors: you will need to build programs that
    break ciphers for you.

    All of the past ciphertexts are in this archive, even when the official sites are down:
    You can use them as practice as you build your crackers. Also, try to think of ways Harry can tweak a cipher, and
    see if you can still break it.

    If you have interest in modern cryptography, the cryptopals tasks are a good way to learn while you hone your
    programming skills. They explain everything rather well (until sets 7 and 8). Harry censors web links, so you have to search for it.


    Thanks for the advice, unfortunately I won’t be eligible next year but I hope someone who is will see this and start preparing now :).
    I had made programs to break ciphers automatically using methods I researched online, and it was very satisfying to be able to put in an encrypted vigenere or simple substitution cipher into my program, and it would return a decrypted output in a reasonable amount of time and submitting answers minutes after release this year.

    I will have a look at the cryptopals challenges, they look interesting and will be good to learn about modern cryptography.
    If I have the time, I hope to keep doing the cipher challenge for fun over the next few years too.

    Your cryptography guide is amazing btw 🙂

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