Zodiac Killer Cipher Solved

The SF Chronicle is reporting (more details here), and the FBI is confirming, that a Melbourne mathematician and team has decrypted the 1969 message sent by the Zodiac Killer to the newspaper.

There’s no paper yet, but there are a bunch of details in the news articles.

Here’s an interview with one of the researchers:

Cryptologist David Oranchak, who has been trying to crack the notorious “340 cipher” (it contains 340 characters) for more than a decade, made a crucial breakthrough earlier this year when applied mathematician Sam Blake came up with about 650,000 different possible ways in which the code could be read. From there, using code-breaking software designed by Jarl Van Eycke, the team’s third member, they came up with a small number of valuable clues that helped them piece together a message in the cipher

Posted on December 16, 2020 at 7:01 AM5 Comments


Erik December 16, 2020 7:46 AM

The message starts “We have been trying to reach you about your vehicle’s extended warranty….”

All for one and one for none December 16, 2020 3:42 PM

RE: Linux has a bleak future

Projects like Debian are the real feather for One Microsoft Way’s cap.

Shove multi-headed neon dyed haired multi-s3x SJW into the developer’s arena and eventually Debian will be acquired and discontinued. Think of all of the Debian based distros which would fall from this.

IBM should buy Canonical before Microsoft does.

Today, it’s quantity, and tomorrow they’ll lie and say it’s about Quality, as the # of distros are whittled down to just a few, which big corp can buy and control or shutter.

The future is controversial, yes, but it’s easy seeing this coming.

MarkH December 17, 2020 7:59 AM


At least now, the FIPS for Zodiac-340 can be finalized and promulgated. Maybe the addition of a key scheduling algorithm could make it stronger.

@Terry Davis The Movie:

I’m indebted to you, for your contribution. The movie you describe must be a nauseating pile of hackneyed trash. I shall scrupulously avoid it, and my life thereby be (comparatively) enriched.

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