Secret Santa’s Ciphers

It’s only few days before Christmas so here are some secret messages from Santa for you to decode…

Secret Message #1, encoded using Maritime Signal Flags


secret-santa-maritime-flags
International maritime signal flags are various flags used to communicate with ships. Each flag represents a letter of the alphabet or a digit (0 to 9). You may need to research on the internet to find out the whole list of flags.


Secret Message #2, encoded using a Pigpen cipher


secret-santa-pigpen-cipher
A pigpen cipher is a type of visual cryptography where each character of the alphabet is replaced with a symbol.


Secret Message #3, encoded using Morse code


secret-santa-morse-code
Morse code is a method of transmitting text information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment. Each character (letter or numeral) is represented by a unique sequence of dots and dashes. The duration of a dash is three times the duration of a dot.


Secret Message #4, encoded using Semaphore Flags


secret-santa-semaphore-flags
Flag semaphore is a telegraphy system conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags. Information is encoded by the position of the flags. The current flag semaphore system uses two short poles with square flags, which a signalman holds in different positions to signal letters of the alphabet and numbers. The signalman holds one pole in each hand, and extends each arm in one of eight possible directions. At sea, the flags are coloured red and yellow, while on land, they are white and blue.


Secret Message #5, encoded using a rail-fence cipher


secret-santa-rail-fence
The rail fence cipher (sometimes called zigzag cipher) is a transposition cipher that jumbles up the order of the letters of a message using a basic algorithm.
The rail fence cipher works by writing your message on alternate lines across the page, and then reading off each line in turn. You can read more about the rail-fence cipher on this page.


Secret Message #6, encoded using a mono-alphabetic substitution cipher


A mono-alphabetic cipher (aka simple substitution cipher) is a substitution cipher where each letter of the plain text is replaced with another letter of the alphabet. It uses a fixed key which consist of the 26 letters of a “shuffled alphabet”.

You can decipher a mono-alphabetic cipher using a frequency analysis.

Cipher Text:

“G RGXX XGMK GO BAK YULB, BAK YHKLKOB, UOQ BAK PCBCHK!”, LNHIIZK HKYKUBKQ, UL AK LNHUVJXKQ ICB IP JKQ. “BAK LYGHGBL IP UXX BAHKK LAUXX LBHGMK RGBAGO VK. IA WUNIJ VUHXKS! AKUMKO, UOQ BAK NAHGLBVUL BGVK JK YHUGLKQ PIH BAGL! G LUS GB IO VS DOKKL, IXQ WUNIJ; IO VS DOKKL!”

AK RUL LI PXCBBKHKQ UOQ LI ZXIRGOZ RGBA AGL ZIIQ GOBKOBGIOL, BAUB AGL JHIDKO MIGNK RICXQ LNUHNKXS UOLRKH BI AGL NUXX. AK AUQ JKKO LIJJGOZ MGIXKOBXS GO AGL NIOPXGNB RGBA BAK LYGHGB, UOQ AGL PUNK RUL RKB RGBA BKUHL.

“BAKS UHK OIB BIHO QIRO”, NHGKQ LNHIIZK, PIXQGOZ IOK IP AGL JKQ–NCHBUGOL GO AGL UHVL, “BAKS UHK OIB BIHO QIRO, HGOZL UOQ UXX. BAKS UHK AKHK—G UV AKHK—BAK LAUQIRL IP BAK BAGOZL BAUB RICXQ AUMK JKKO, VUS JK QGLYKXXKQ. BAKS RGXX JK. G DOIR BAKS RGXX!”

AGL AUOQL RKHK JCLS RGBA AGL ZUHVKOBL UXX BAGL BGVK; BCHOGOZ BAKV GOLGQK ICB, YCBBGOZ BAKV IO CYLGQK QIRO, BKUHGOZ BAKV, VGLXUSGOZ BAKV, VUDGOZ BAKV YUHBGKL BI KMKHS DGOQ IP KEBHUMUZUONK.

“G QIO’B DOIR RAUB BI QI!”, NHGKQ LNHIIZK, XUCZAGOZ UOQ NHSGOZ GO BAK LUVK JHKUBA; UOQ VUDGOZ U YKHPKNB XUINIIO IP AGVLKXP RGBA AGL LBINDGOZL. “G UV UL XGZAB UL U PKUBAKH, G UV UL AUYYS UL UO UOZKX, G UV UL VKHHS UL U LNAIIXJIS. G UV UL ZGQQS UL U QHCODKO VUO. U VKHHS NAHGLBVUL BI KMKHSJIQS! U AUYYS OKR SKUH BI UXX BAK RIHXQ. AUXXI AKHK! RAIIY! AUXXI!”

AK AUQ PHGLDKQ GOBI BAK LGBBGOZ–HIIV, UOQ RUL OIR LBUOQGOZ BAKHK: YKHPKNBXS RGOQKQ.


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