The deceptive nature of invented deceptions

It is a bad habit to discard parts of the VM which don’t fit with your theories or ideas as “deceptions” by the author, intended to distract wannabe codebreakers and to throw us off track.

While it actually might be the case, resorting to this stunt is technically simply an excuse for not explaining VM features.

Unless this tool is used with utmost self-restraint (some folks discard all illustrations in the VM because they don’t fit their “translations”), one will start to “explain” away each and everything, and can then arrive at any preconceived or desired conclusion.


One thought on “The deceptive nature of invented deceptions

  1. Hi Elmar,

    Only if we were looking at a post-Alberti mathematical cryptography (i.e. a cipher that derives its security from algorithmic complexity, and is so certain that this is unbreakable that it needs no other protection) would this be true.

    Instead, I argue that what we are find in the VMs is a different type of complexity: (struggling for words somewhat) I call it a kind of architected cipher (a larger framework to contain multiple overlapping smaller ciphers), and would suggest that it belongs to an entirely different, cunning kind of cryptographic tradition, for which deception is perhaps the main type of security.

    In fact, I would say that the VMs is most likely a simple set of cipher tricks that has been architected carefully to make them hard to see: and so the security arises more from the architecture than from the components.

    And hence deception/steganography is right at the heart of the VMs, integrated with the very cipher itself. That’s no stunt, it’s just a logical reading of the VMs as an historical document. :-)

    Cheers, ….Nick Pelling….

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