﻿ Caesar Cipher - A.Tools

# Caesar Cipher

Offset

Caesar Cipher, also known as Shift Cipher, or Caesar Shift, is one of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques. It is a type of substitution cipher in which each letter in the plaintext is replaced by a letter some fixed number of positions down the alphabet.[Wikipedia]

The Caesar Cipher was named after Julius Caesar (100 B.C. – 44 B.C). He would use the cipher for secret communication (protect messages of military significance). The Caesar Cipher is a substitution cipher. Originally, Julius Caesar would use a shift of three to encrypt/decrypt a message. The Caesar Cipher encrypts a message using an affine function : f(x) = 1x + b.

More complex encryption schemes such as the Vigenère cipher employ the Caesar cipher as one element of the encryption process. The widely known ROT13 'encryption' is simply a Caesar cipher with an offset of 13. The Caesar cipher offers essentially no communication security, and it will be shown that it can be easily broken even by hand.

How it works?

To pass an encrypted message from one person to another, it is first necessary that both parties have the 'key' for the cipher, so that the sender may encrypt it and the receiver may decrypt it. For the caesar cipher, the key is the number of characters to shift the cipher alphabet.

Here is a quick example of the encryption and decryption steps involved with the caesar cipher. The text we will encrypt is 'defend the east wall of the castle', with a shift (key) of 1.

```plaintext:  defend the east wall of the castle
ciphertext: efgfoe uif fbtu xbmm pg uif dbtumf
```

It is easy to see how each character in the plaintext is shifted up the alphabet. Decryption is just as easy, by using an offset of -1.

```plain:  abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
cipher: bcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyza
```

Obviously, if a different key is used, the cipher alphabet will be shifted a different amount.

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