Did you know?

That CrypTool was originally designed as an internal business application for information security training. CrypTool has since developed into an important open-source project in the field of cryptology. Over 50 volunteer developers worldwide contribute to the program.

What is CrypTool 1

CrypTool 1 (CT1) is an open-source Windows program for cryptography and cryptanalysis. It’s the most wide-spreaded e-learning software of its kind.

What is CrypTool 2?

CrypTool 2 (CT2) is an open-source program offering an innovative visual programming GUI to experiment with cryptographic procedures and to animate their cascades.

What is JCrypTool?

JCrypTool (JCT) is an open-source e-learning platform, allowing to experiment comprehensively with cryptography on Linux, MAC OS X, and Windows.

What is CrypTool-Online?

CrypTool-Online (CTO) runs in a browser and provides a huge variety of encryption methods and analysis tools including many illustrated examples.

What is MysteryTwister C3?

MysteryTwister C3 (MTC3) is an international Crypto Cipher Contest offering a broad variety of challenges, a moderated forum and an ongoing hall-of-fame.

Humanity has concerned itself with the topic of cryptology for three thousand years. However, until the mid-20th century it was a topic of importance to only a small interested group -- diplomats and the armed forces. In any military conflict, exchange of confidential information and eavesdropping is crucial for survival. Due to the sensitive subject matter the vast majority of crypto research was done in secrecy in the past.

When we talk about awareness, or security awareness, we usually mean the consciousness for general concerns of information security. Hence, awareness is not only about cryptology, e.g. the encryption of confidential data, but also about a much broader topic. The following figure aims to illustrate this fact:

cryptology en1

This event for teachers and students was held for the first time in 2009. The goal is to teach students, with the help of the freely available CrypTool software, about encoded messages and the importance of cryptography in the modern digital world. See http://www.cryptool.org/schuelerkrypto (German only)
For teachers who want to introduce their pupils into the fascinating world of cryptography the CrypTool project started the Cryptoportal for teachers (only german). On this portal teachers could exchange learning material and have a discussion about it.
  • Germany — Land of Ideas 2008
  • European Information Security Award 2004
  • IT Security Award NRW 2004
  • TeleTrusT Special Award 2004

  • Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (DuD), October 2014, page 701 - 708 (German) "CrypTool 2.0 – Open-Source Kryptologie für Jedermann" [The article describes the e-learning software CrypTool 2.0 which was released in August 2014 after 7 years of development and many stable beta versions. CT2 is – like JCT – successor of CT1. CT2 offers a lot of encryption and analysis methods using visual programming as a new GUI. The article also explain the architecture of the software and some sample components.]
  • Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (DuD), May 2014, page 305-313 (German)
    "Sichere E-Mail mit S/MIME Eine Anleitung aus Anwenderperspektive"
    [The article exhaustively describes how to install and use secure email with Thunderbird in 4 steps. There is a link to the visualization of S/MIME in CT1. Existing weaknesses concerning the usability are examined. Additionally, the article contains an appeal to foster the existing open-source software in order to get rid off the referred weaknesses to make life of citizens and economy more secure.]
  • <kes>, March 2014, page 70-77 (German)
    "Krypto + NSA = ? -- Kryptografische Folgerungen aus der NSA-Affäre" [The article investigates: Which crypto systems can -- despite the reveal of the NSA/GCHQ attacks -- still be considered as secure? Where have systems been intentionally weakened? How can we create a secure cryptographic future? Where is the difference between maths and implementation?]
  • Infosecurity magazine (Online magazine), February 2013
    "Kleptography in Black-Box Implementations" [The English version is an updated and slightly shorted version of the German article in <KES>, August 2010. It contains a screenshot with the according kleptography plugin in JCrypTool (JCT).]
  • <kes>, May 2012, page 22-27 (German)
    "RSA-Sicherheit in der Praxis"
    [Investigation, why shared prime factors exist in RSA moduli and how this can be prevented. The program described in the article can be downloaded here.]
  • digma -- Zeitschrift für Datenrecht und Informationssicherheit, April 2012, Page 32-35 (German)
    "E-Learning: Kryptografie und Kryptoanalyse"
  • Hackin9, IT Security Magazine, March 2011, page 10-14
    "The CrypTool project -- The best way, to learn and apply cryptography"
    [This article explains the CrypTool project, and introduces the three software versions CrypTool 1.4.30 (CT1), CT2 and JavaCrypTool (JCT).]
  • <kes>, August 2010, page 6-11 (German)
    "Kleptografie bei Black-Box-Implementierungen"
    [The article contains a 1-page box which introduces JavaCrypTool (JCT), and it contains a screenshot with the according kleptography plugin in JCT.]
  • PC Plus 297, August 2010, page 65-67
    "Breaking the toughest codes"
    [The last column describes how to encrypt a message with DES using CrypTool v1]
  • Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (DuD), March 2009, 7 pages,
    "CrypTool - an open source project in practice
    Lessons learned from a successful open source project"
  • <kes>, July 2008, page 62-65 (German)
  • DFN News, April 2008, page 28-31
  • DFN News, December 2007, page 28-31 (German)
  • Information Security - Report 2006 by Touch Briefing, page 21-23
  • <kes>, May 2003, page 18-23 (German)
  • Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (DuD), October 2002, page 615-618 (German)
  • c't, 14/2001, page 204-208 (German)  

The remarks in brackets above are taken from the article summary or they describe the link to CrypTool.

For further information see "Links / Books".

This overview of the various cryptographic algorithms is a chronological history of cryptology, whose origins date back to the days of antiquity and which over time has undergone steady refinement of its methods. Please note that this table is by no means complete.

The first human writing dates back more than 6000 years. Encryption has been in existence for around 3000 years.

c. 1900 BC Non standard symbols were used in old Egypt.
c. 1500 BC The Phoenicians developed an alphabet.
c. 1000 BC Non standard symbols were used in old Mesopotamia.
c. 600 BC In Palestine texts have been encrypted with the simple monoalphabetic substitution cipher Atbash.

  • Friedrich L. Bauer: "Decrypted Secrets: Methods and Maxims of Cryptology", 1st edition, 1997, Springer, ISBN-13: 978-3540604181
  • Bengt Beckman: "Codebreakers: Arne Beurling and the Swedish Crypto Program During World War II", 2002, AMS, ISBN 0-8218-2889-4
    Translated from the Swedish by Kjell-Ove Widman
    Review by F.L. Bauer: http://www.ams.org/notices/200308/rev-bauer.pdf

Go To Top