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Re: VMs: In the news again...

Zitat von Gabriel Landini <G.Landini@xxxxxxxxxx>:

> On Monday 26 January 2004 13:37, elvogt@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> > IIRC, Gordon showed that with a Cardan grille (which would have been
> > available to Kelly) a nonsense text with several of the more outstanding
> > statistical features as they are found in the VM could be generated.
> Something that was never clear to me: were those kind of grilles really used
> by Kelley? And for what purpose?
> Claims to involve/blame Kelley must be supported by some fact... rather than
> by his reputation. 
> ...
> > Gabriel

I'm not sure that we have proof Kelley knew about CGs, but CGs were around at 
his time, so it can be reasonably assumed someone interested in cryptography 
would have known.

The usual method of encrypting with a CG is as follows: You take a square piece 
of cardboard, and cut holes in there more or less at will. You put the "mask" 
you generated this way onto a piece of paper, and write down the text you want 
to transfer letter by letter, or word by word, in the holes of the mask. Then 
you remove the mask, and fill the gaps on the paper with gibberish. Voila: 
Message hidden. You send the paper away, and make sure that the recipient has a 
copy of your grille/"mask". Voila: Instant decoding.

(There seemingly is also an alternative method, where you use any piece of 
paper with text on it, place the cardboard over it, and cut the holes in the 
cardboard where the paper happens to have the letters you need. Obviously, this 
is more cumbersome, and requires transmission of both the paper with the text 
_and_ the mask with every message, increasing the risk of interception.)

Gordon -- if I understand correctly -- essentially first filled a matrix with 
Voynichese syllables, did cut a few Cardan masks/grilles at random, and put 
them over the matrix paper, copying the words he could make out through the 
holes to his "manuscript". Moving the mask over the matrix and switching the 
masks at intervals he ended up with "encoded" text with some striking 
similarities to the VM.

Most notably, it only took him two or three hours to produce a page of pseudo-
VM that way, showing that it would have been feasible and financially worth the 
effort to pull the stunt through in this manner.



P.S.: Personally, I think the VM is a fake, although I wish it wasn't.

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