Article | Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Historical Cryptology, HistoCrypt 2019, June 23-26, 2019, Mons, Belgium | Cryptanalysis of an Early 20th Century Encrypted Journal Linköping University Electronic Press Conference Proceedings
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Title:
Cryptanalysis of an Early 20th Century Encrypted Journal
Author:
Tony Gaffney: Private Scholar Klaus Schmeh: Freelanced Journalist
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2019
Conference:
Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Historical Cryptology, HistoCrypt 2019, June 23-26, 2019, Mons, Belgium
Issue:
158
Article no.:
011
Pages:
97-105
No. of pages:
9
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2019-06-12
ISBN:
978-91-7685-087-9
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Series:
NEALT Proceedings Series
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet


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Ernest Rinzi (1836-1909), a Londonbased jeweler, goldsmith and miniaturist, left behind an encrypted journal, which went unsolved until 2017. Dozens of artistically designed illustrations, which interact with text written in tiny letters, make this 175 pages journal one of the most outstanding cryptograms in existence. In 2017 one of the two authors of this paper brought Rinzi’s journal to the attention of a wider audience, which led to the other author examining and breaking the encryption. The cipher Rinzi used proved a monoalphabetic substitution cipher (MASC) that replaces letters and numbers. The cryptanalysis work was complicated by the unusual and hard-toread miniature writing.

Keywords: encrypted diary encrypted journal monoalphabetic substitution cryptanalysis Ernest Rinzi

Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Historical Cryptology, HistoCrypt 2019, June 23-26, 2019, Mons, Belgium

Author:
Tony Gaffney, Klaus Schmeh
Title:
Cryptanalysis of an Early 20th Century Encrypted Journal
References:

Anonymous. 2017. Ernest Rinzi: All from God. http://illinoisrbml.tumblr.com/post/165049087613/emest-rinzi-all-from-god-emest-rinzi-bom-as.

Anonymous. 2017. Ernest Rinzi: Master of Miniatures. http://illinoisrbml.tumblr.com/post/164792448156/ernest-rinzi-master-of-miniaturesemest-rinzi

Király, Levente Zoltán; Tokai, Gábor. 2018. Cracking the code of the Rohonc Codex. Cryptologia Volume 42, 2018 - Issue 4, p. 285-315

Rinzi, Ernest. 1898-1903. Bound manuscript journal. From the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Post-1650 Manuscript Collection.

Royal Collection Trust. 2019. Ernest Rinzi ( 1836-1909): Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Signed and dated 1897. https://www.rct.uk/collection/422305/queen-victoria-1819-1901.

Schmeh, Klaus. 2017. A phantastic discovery: The encrypted journal of Ernest Rinzi. http://scienceblogs.de/klausis-kryptokolumne/2017/09/21/a-phantastic-discovery-theencrypted-joumal-of-emesto-rinzi/

Schmeh, Klaus. 2017. The mysterious paintings and cryptograms of Charles Dellschau. http://scienceblogs.de/klausis-kryptokolumne/2017 /01/31/the-mysterious-paintings-andcryptograms-of-charles-dellschau/

Schmeh, Klaus. 2018. The Top 50 unsolved encrypted messages: 10. James Hampton ’s notebook. http://scienceblogs.de/klausiskrypto-kolumne/2018/03/04/the-top-50-unsolvedencrypted-messages-10-j ames-hamptons-notebook/

Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Historical Cryptology, HistoCrypt 2019, June 23-26, 2019, Mons, Belgium

Author:
Tony Gaffney, Klaus Schmeh
Title:
Cryptanalysis of an Early 20th Century Encrypted Journal
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Last updated: 2019-10-02