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Beginner Tutorial on Ciphers with Python
[deleted]

So, this tutorial is about encryption and decryption with Python. We will start with the simplest--the Caesar Cipher, and progress to much more difficult ones, like the Affine Cipher

The Caesar Cipher is very simple, with one assigning a number to each letter and then adding or subtracting the value of each letter by a special key. However, this code can be cracked by brute force when one tries all 26 numbers.

The main formula of this program is:
c = (x + n) % 26
where c is place value of encrypted letter,
x is place value of actual letter,
n is the number that shows us how many positions of letters we have to replace.
to decrypt each letter we’ll use the formula given below:
c = (x – n) % 26
We will be using the ASCII codes for the first program.

Here is the code. We will go over it line by line.

plaintext = input("Enter Message! ")
key = int(input("Enter key: "))

messagespace = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz"

def encrypt(plaintext, key):
ciphertext = ""
for i in range(len(plaintext)):
if(plaintext[i].isalpha() == False):
ciphertext += plaintext[i]
continue
key %= len(messagespace)
index = messagespace.index(plaintext[i]) * key
ciphertext += messagespace[index % len(messagespace) ]

return ciphertext

print("Encrypted message: " + encrypt(plaintext,key))

input()

I do not think I have to explain the variable plaintext and key. So, the variable messagespace defines all the chars that can be used in the code. So, right now, uppercase letters, numbers, and other ASCII figures are not added. Next, there is ciphertext, which is the encrypted str. The line for i in range... is a loop that runs for the length of plaintext. This way, the program will not underrun or overrun.

This is the most important bit of code:

if(plaintext[i].isalpha() == False):
ciphertext += plaintext[i]
continue
key %= len(messagespace)
index = messagespace.index(plaintext[i]) * key

First, the if statement checks if everything is in the alphabet(.isalpha, is code is supplementary to the next bit)

Next, we assign the plaintext in to ciphertext, using i to reiterate and change ciphertext to the new version of plaintext. Then, we have the formula bit. we modulo and reassign the message to the key, which will then multiply every index number of plaintext(which was beginning text) by the key, giving a new ciphertext. Last, we return and print ciphertext. Hope this helped!
I will be doing more of these with more difficult ciphers, stay tuned!

Comments
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AchakDut (0)

could you explain to me what this does:

if(plaintext[i].isalpha() == False):
ciphertext += plaintext[i]
continue
key %= len(messagespace)
index = messagespace.index(plaintext[i]) * key
ciphertext += messagespace[index % len(messagespace) ]

disect every line in detail

[deleted]

@AchakDut Oh yes:
Line 1(if(plaintext[i].isalpha() == False):): This is used in many python ciphers, and it uses the python ASCII dictionary to analyze each char.

Line 2(ciphertext += plaintext[i]): This line uses the += augmented assignment statement, which basically means ciphertext = ciphertext + plaintext[i]. This code uses i, which is the variable in the loop line, to then reassign the value WITH the key input to ciphertext, which is the encoded text.

Line 3(continue): basic code which prompts IDE to continue running the code

Line 4(key %= len(messagespace)): This is part of the formula, which is c = (x + n) % 26. As you can see, we modulo the key by the length of messagespace, which is 26.

Line 5(index = messagespace.index(plaintext[i]) * key): This uses the .index function take the 26 char of messagespace in plaintext[i] multiplied by the key, which is stated in Line 4.

Line 6(ciphertext += messagespace[index % len(messagespace) ]): This line reassigns to ciphertext,taking messagespace and putting the rest of the formula together, with index(which we stated in Line 5), and mod messagespace(which is 26). Is this helpful?

AchakDut (0)

@hendryxu

thank you very much for the explanation

[deleted]

no problem @AchakDut

[deleted]

@Codemonkey51 What do you mean?

Codemonkey51 (1047)

When I commented that you posted it 26 seconds ago @hendryxu

Codemonkey51 (1047)

Lol it's bc I got to read this post FAST @hendryxu

[deleted]

@Codemonkey51 yeah lol