# CAESAR CIPHERS

```CAESAR CIPHERS
Codes used for messages, ciphers, and the breaking of these
codes, have been of importance in espionage (e.g. the
breaking of the German 'Enigma' cipher in the Second World
War was vital) but it is now industrial espionage that is more
likely to use ciphers than international spies!
Here is a message in cipher code.
FRPH
WRPSKHOSQRZ
Can you crack It? It is an example of a SHIFT cipher in which
each letter has been shifted a certain number of places along
the alphabet.
Problem 1
Given that the shift is of length 3, decode the message above.
An easy way to decipher messages that have used a
shift is to construct two concentric circles with the
alphabet spread out equally on each circle (see
reverse of sheet). The inside circle can be rotated to
the desired position. This type of cipher is known as a
CAESAR SHIFT as it was first used by Julius Caesar.
Problem 2
Decipher the following messages:
a)
PSXN YED XKWO YP ZOBCYX MKBBISXQ ZVKXC (shift 10)
b)
HNK VBIAXK BL UKHDXG NLX T GXP HGX (shift 19)
c)
X I H I N W I H N U W N G Y Z I L NQI QWEM (shift unknown).
It is not difficult to break a single shift cipher, so various complications have been introduced.
One of these requires having a KEY, which is a set of numbers, such as
73916
and this tells you the shift used for each letter of the message. For example, in the message
shown below, this key is used to determine the shift for each letter
DH FJRS EAJTN KNMV HW MBCU
73 9167 39167 3916 73 9167
Problem 3
Problem 4
Decode this message.
Use the KEY
8 4 2 1
to code the message
MEET AT THE STATION AT MIDDAY
EXTENSION Design your own cipher using a KEY and see if anyone can crack it.
This is the first of a series of sheets on ciphers which are a special form of codes. They were
crucial for Allied success in both World Wars and although still used in spying, they are now of
more importance in international industrial espionage. This sheet deals with SHIFTS, and you
might find it helpful to use the the two templates below for determining what a particular shift
does.