Software Tools

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This is a list of useful tools that can help the community attack the Zodiac ciphers.

  • zkdecrypto - This program's original purpose was to attempt to solve the California Zodiac Killer's unsolved 340-length cipher from November 9, 1969.The program has since been advanced to being able to solve general-case homophonic and monophonic ciphers. It should now be considered an open-source workbench for use in solving general classical-crypto style ciphers
    • zkdecrypto-lite - This is a command-line version of zkdecrypto. Very useful for automated experiments. Binaries are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • How to run zkdecrypto on a Mac
  • Zodiac Cipher Webtoy - A simple web-based cipher tool for exploring different keys to the 340 and 408 ciphers
  • CryptoScope - A tool for computing statistics and searching for patterns in substitution cipher texts.
  • CryptoScope Help - Documentation for CryptoScope
  • Zodiac Decoder - Zodiac cipher solver software created by a student team at the University of North Texas, as part of a computer science course taught by Dr. Ryan Garlick (course page)
  • CrypTool - "A free, open-source e-learning application, used worldwide in the implementation and analysis of cryptographic algorithms."
  • Zodiac Xpress - "Goal of this team project is to create software for automatic deciphering currently uncracked classic ciphers. Among these ciphers is for example Beal cipher, or more famous Zodiac killer cipher."
  • CryptoCrack - CryptoCrack is freeware that can solve over 45 different classical cipher types and in many cases without knowing any plaintext or the key length.
  • Cipher Generator - Mike Cole's web-based homophonic cipher generator. Put in your own plain text and create homophonic substitution ciphers similar to the ones created by the Zodiac killer.
  • Mobile applications - "Zodiac Code" (iPhone application), "DecodeTheZodiacCipher" (Android application), and an assorted of more generalized cipher-related tools.
  • Decrypto 8.5 - A web version of Edwin Olson's fast cryptogram solver. Useful for simpler substitution ciphers such as cryptoquips and patristocrats.
  • AZDecrypt - A fast and powerful cipher solver written by Jarl Van Eycke
    • Version 1.11 - Latest version, recoded as a Windows GUI
    • Version 0.94 BETA - Older version written in FreeBASIC
    • [1] - NEW: AZDecrypt Lite, an entirely web-based version
  • Zodiac Pattern Drawer - Create arbitrary transpositions of the ciphertext
  • Peek-a-boo - A tool for visualizing transposition schemes and generating test ciphers.
  • jDecryptor - Decrypt homophonic ciphers on rotating or non-rotating chiffredisk, with possibility of swapping cipher symbols (more details)
  • Zodiac Web Widget by borkky - A tool for visualizing unigrams that only appear in certain regions. (Announcement)
  • Cipher Explorer - A tool for highlighting and marking up the Zodiac ciphers
  • Your Secret Pal - A solver that runs on Mac

Which tools can successfully crack the Zodiac's 408 cipher?

This list is meant to give an idea of which publicly available software programs can automatically solve the 408 cipher without much human intervention.

  • zkdecrypto - Usually obtains most of the correct solution. A few symbols might be off, but the overall solution is correct.
  • zkdecrypto-lite - Command-line version of zkdecrypto.
  • AZDecrypt
  • TODO: evaluate the other cipher cracking programs