Friday, February 22, 2013

Russian Copulation (Hot Russian Action)

Sometimes you run into something that just makes you laugh out loud. This was one of those somethings for me. Quote from Wiki:
In cryptography, Russian copulation is a method of rearranging plaintext before encryption so as to conceal stereotyped headers, salutations, introductions, endings, signatures, etc.

The technique is to break the starting plaintext message into two parts and then to invert the order of the parts. This puts all endings and beginnings (presumably the location of most boilerplate phrases) 'somewhere in the middle' of the version of the plaintext which is actually encrypted. For some messages, mostly those not in a human language (e.g., images or tabular data), the decrypted version of the plaintext will present problems when reversing the inversion. For messages in ordinary language, there is sufficient redundancy that the inversion can almost always be reversed by a human immediately on inspection.
The English phrase suggests that it originally came from an observation about Russian cryptographic practice. However, the technique is generally useful and neither was, nor is, limited to use by Russians.

I had to add the parenthesis in the title for some shits-n-giggles....

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