The Challenge is over and the medallion has been awarded. Check back soon for Herky Crypto Challenge II!

Link to Herky Crypto Challenge - 2

Welcome to the Herky Crypto Challenge

Cryptography and secure communication seem to be in the news quite a bit these days. Whether its secure access to your phone, or monitoring by the National Security Agency, all kinds of interesting topics are being reported on.

Cryptography is an important topic for engineers to understand and makes a fun hobby as well. It is my hope that the Herky Crypto Challenge will prove interesting and a bit of an intellectual challenge for all those who participate.

The Herky Crypto Challenge consists of six problems in cryptography that you will attempt to solve. Some are harder, some are easier, but you should find a good cross-section of the process of cryptanalysis and cryptography as you work each of the Challenges. When you solve each problem, you will be given the information necessary to solve the next problem in the sequence. I will list the names of those who complete all six Challenges on a Wall of Fame at the bottom of this page.

You should feel free to work the Challenges individually or as part of a team. I will award a medallion commemorating completion of the Challenge to the first 10 individuals or teams (one medallion per individual or team) that manage to complete the challenge. Please work at your own pace. At this point I haven't set a completion deadline because I have no idea how fast people will be able to complete the work. Depending on how things go, I may impose a deadline at some future point.

It is useful for me to make a few notes regarding the Challenges. First, you should consider using the linux operating system for any computer support you require when working on the Herky Crypto Challenge. linux has the potential to be far more secure than its competitors - indeed Microsoft has admitted providing data to the NSA, whereas Linus Torvalds has indicated that he has not done so. Further, there are a wide variety of open-source tools available for linux that will help you to solve the various Challenges. In developing the Challenge, I've made use of some of these tools, and also written my own software to carry out other necessary calculations. However, I leave the choice of tools ultimately up to you.

Finally, I would like to note that all decisions regarding your progress in the Herky Crypto Challenge are up to me. By the act of participating, you agree that all decisions I make are final.

Best of luck as you pursue the Herky Crypto Challenge! Information you will need to begin the first Challenge can be found here.

David R. Andersen, Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Physics and Astronomy
October 29, 2013

Wall of Fame:

Enigma: Solved the Final Puzzle on Feb. 25, 2015


Studpuffin: Solved Puzzle 2 on Feb. 21, 2015