Re: Plaintext

Garance A Drosehn (
Wed, 2 Jul 97 17:18:40 -0400

Christopher Thompson <> writes:
> Something's been bothering me for a few days.
> If we hadn't have known _anything_ about the plain text of the
> DES-encrypted message, we wouldn't have been able to decrypt it,
> even using brute force. Is this correct?

It would have been a bit more work to decrypt it, but that's just
a matter of applying a bit more force to the brute-force method.
You'd have to add some heuristic to determine if a given key
decrypted it into something that "kinda looks like a message".

This wouldn't be too bad if we know the message was in english,
but it would get even tougher if we didn't know the language
the message was written in.

Garance Alistair Drosehn     =
Senior Systems Programmer        (MIME & NeXTmail capable)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;           Troy NY    USA