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Kryptos 2021

will be held

April 22 - 26, 2021

Registration is now open!


New this year: It has become necessary for the Kryptos Codemasters to migrate over to Google Forms for both Registration and for Solution Submissions.  This will require at least one member of each team to have a google account. While we hope this transition is smooth, please be patient with us if we experience difficulties.  Team members and faculty sponsors will not receive automatic emails after registration.  All team members will receive an email shortly before the competition begins. 

If you have questions or experience difficiulties, feel free to contact Stuart Boersma at

Click to Register

All registration must be completed by Tuesday April 20, 2021.


κρυπτοσ or kryptos, is a contest open to any and all undergraduate students. The theme of the contest is centered around the breaking, or cryptanalysis, of ciphers (secret writing). Each challenge presents contestants with a brief scenario together with some ciphertext (encoded message). The goal is to discover the original English plaintext message!

Clues to help break the cipher may be contained in the actual ciphertext or in the details of the accompanying scenario.

While it is not the intent of this contest to test overly technical aspects of crypanalysis or advanced mathematical algorithms, some familiarity with basic codemaking and codebreaking is certainly helpful. Some useful sources include:

Contestants should also be aware that there are quite a few freely available programs and applets that may aid in some of the more tedious aspects of code breaking (e.g. frequency analysis). However, keep in mind that there are never any guarantees with such software!

To Participate

Individual undergraduate students, or teams of up to three, are eligible to participate. Each individual or team must have a faculty sponsor in order to register.

Please read the official contest rules and instructions for submitting solutions before the contest begins.

When the contest begins at 4 p.m. PDT on April 22, 2021, the Cipher Challenges will be available at this website. Begin working and have fun! Solutions need to be submitted by 4 p.m. PDT April 26, 2020. All times are Pacific Daylight Time.

Results will be posted here shortly after the end of the contest. As teams finish each challenge, please prepare and submit solutions according to the guidelines.

Please submit your solutions as you solve each challenge as the time taken to solve a challenge will be used to determine final rankings.

Questions or difficulties?  Email Stuart Boersma [ ].

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