Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crypto Box Challenge Update

I'm pleased to announce that Hans Nelisse from the Netherlands succeeded in breaking all three boxes in the Crypto Box Challenge on March 23, 2012. The challenge now runs already four and a half years and Hans is the third person ever to crack all boxes. Hans, a technical programmer, used 8 processor cores and a combination of a brute force attack with hill climbing to unveil the final box.

The encryption principle of the Crypto Box is quite simple: shifting rows and columns of letters in a crossword puzzle-like square. Although the encryption concept of the Crypto Box doesn't look very spectacular, it definitely presents a tremendous challenge to any codebreaker. A truly hard nut to crack!

The challenge runs since December 2007. At this moment, 49 competitors from 16 different countries have entered the competition. The challenge is open to everyone! If you think you got it in you to crack the boxes, please visit the Crypto Box page on my website where you can also download the freeware Crypto Box Tool that you can use to shuffle the rows and columns of the challenge boxes.

Good luck!

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