College of the Sciences

## Kryptos 2022 Challenge 2

We thought that bootlegging went out with Prohibition in 1933, but it appears to still (no pun intended) be going strong!  For example, rare, small-batch bourbon companies are seeing their empty bottles being sold for high prices on sites such as Ebay.  Unscrupulous scoundrels buy the empty bottles, fill them with inferior whiskey, and sell them to unsuspecting booze aficionados for exorbitant prices.  Our small strike team has been charged with breaking up one of the larger of these sauce swindling syndicates.  The first phase of our operation was quite successful, as one of our agents actually learned the encryption system being used by these moonshine manipulators to coordinate their illegal sales.  They start by simply turning their messages into standard Morse Code, being sure to place an X between letters and an XX between words.  They then use a nine letter keyword to turn their Morse Code into numbers.  For example, if the key word was LIQUORMAN they would build the following key based on the alphabetical order of the letters in the keyword:

LIQUORMAN

327968415

...---XXX

.-X.-X.-X

The ciphertext is formed by reading the plaintext (after being converted to Morse Code) in pairs of symbols and substituting the appropriate number based on the key.  Here is an example:

pt: test message

Morse:    t    e    s    t    m   e     s     s    a     g    e

-  X . X ... X – XX -- X . X ... X ... X .- X --. X .

CT:     8  7   3  7   8  1  8   7   3  7  3  7  2  1  9  4

Of course, if the keyword changes the numerical substitutions also change.  Unfortunately, they seem to be changing their keyword about once a week and we are unable to figure out what it is.  We’ve intercepted the following message that we believe will indicate a time and place where a big shipment will be coming though.  If we can get there first, we can set up an ambush and put these whiskey wranglers out of business!

Intercepted message:

4  2  7  6  8  7  4  6  8  2  7  6  2  6  3  6

2  4  7  7  6  8  6  8  7  8  6  5  7  5  6  1

7  2  1  5  6  4  7  6  5  7  4  6  5  7  4  3

1  4  2  6  8  2  4  1  7  6  5  6  7  3  1  4

6  3  7  7  1  1  5  9  3  7  8  6  8  1  6  3

6  7  3  8  6  4  1  6  9  5  6  6  1  9  4  1

9  2  8  8  6  9  4  2  4  6  3  6  6  8  7  5

2  8  2  8  7  7  1  5  1  7  1  4  7  4  1  7

4  6  3  7  6  8  1  6  3  6  6  1  9  2  8  2

7  8  7  3  7  4  1  4  2  1  2  8  1  8  1  7

8  1  3  6  8  7  2