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Re: Re: Reformated: How secure....

> Further, descrambling entails moving tiles and recognition of
> readable text.

Why do you make this claim?  If PrivaSoft's transposition cipher is
even superficially ok, a wrong-key decryption will look like a random
permutation of the input pixels, i.e. an image with the same
black/white statistics as the original (a slight weakness, IMHO) but
with none of its spatial coherence.  Look at the distribution of run
lengths, or of the size of connected components.  

I just went and looked at your "PrivaSoft in action" example, and I'd
have to say that the cipher is not "superficially ok".  The ciphertext
is visibly structured: there are visible fragments of letters (an "e",
an "n", a "k", the top of an "S"); there are evenly-spaced vertical
lines of dashes and crosses; I can see the bold text of the original
(what's more, it's only diffused over a small extent, not the whole
ciphertext); and, um, was the letterhead text supposed to be
unreadable, or just dirtied up a little?

Since the algorithm doesn't break up small-scale structure very well,
a more robust way of testing for correct decryption would be to
count the number of black pixels on each scan line, and examine this
for periodicity.  Even with some noise and scan skew, there will be
obvious periodicity for unencrypted text, and little for an incorrect

I don't mean to be unnecessarily hard on your software.  It's probably
fine against casually nosy people and for protecting mildly
embarassing information, and it's conveniently exportable.  But if you
represent it as suitable for high-value secrets, you're misleading
your customers.

   Eli Brandt
   [email protected]