Scientists Break 18th Century Secret Code


A trans-Atlantic team cracked the Copiale Cipher.

Originally written in the 18th Century, the Copiale Cipher was a secret document detailing the rites, rituals, and fascinations of an obscure German cult.  Long hidden away behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, the document was unknown to the west for many years.  Even after it was discovered by Western researchers, the code of the Copiale Cypher remained uncracked.  Finally, a team has translated the Copiale Cipher, cracking the code that remained a mystery for hundreds of years and stumped dozens of scientists.

“I defeated their security!” cheered USC computer researcher Kevin Knight, who worked alongside Beata Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer of Uppsala University in Sweden.  ”For me, the fun is in cracking the code.  It has passed through a lot of hands, but you persevered and could read what other people couldn’t.  You start to see patterns, then you reach the magic point where a word appears.”  He added that, after that key moment, “you no longer even care what the document’s about.”

As it turns out, the group was obsessed with eye surgery and ophthalmology, among other things.  Now with that message solved, will the team turn their attention to the secret code on the seal of the United States Cyber Command?  If you can break the Copiale Cipher, you can break any code!

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