Tuesday, February 7, 2023

More than 50 undeciphered letters of Mary Stuart were found and deciphered by George Lasry, Norbert Biermann and Satoshi Tomokiyo

General News

For Mary Stuart researchers, it's probably the biggest cryptography discovery in recent years.

Our colleagues George Lasry, Norbert Biermann and Satoshi Tomokiyo have found over 50 previously undeciphered letters written by Mary Stuart to Michel de Castelnau Mauvissière, the French ambassador to England.

All of the letters were in the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Paris.

The researchers successfully deciphered all the letters and published their findings in an impressive research article in the journal Cryptologia.

Lasry has posted a talk on YouTube about how they found the letters, how they deciphered them, and what they found in the plaintexts of the deciphered letters.

They cracked the code using cryptanalysis algorithms like Simulated Annealing (which is also implemented in CrypTool 2) as well as a lot of manual work that took them more than a year.

  • The full Cryptologia paper is available open-access here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01611194.2022.2160677
  • George Lasry's research talk on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiL-QdQJPB0
  • The DECRYPT project's homepage you may visit here: https://de-crypt.org
  • Satoshi Tomokiyo's Cryptiana website you can find here: http://cryptiana.web.fc2.com/code/crypto.htm

Posted by:

Nils Kopal