Cryptanalysis is the process of analyzing and decrypting the codes, any encrypted texts, or ciphers. The cryptanalysts make use of mathematical formulas in order to search if there is any vulnerability to the algorithm and this helps to break the information security and the cryptography systems.

1) What Is Cryptanalysis?

2) Types

3) Uses

4) Difference b/w cryptography and cryptanalysis

5) Tools

1) What is Cryptanalysis?

Cryptanalysis is the method of studying and analyzing the information systems to study the hidden aspects of the system. Cryptanalysis is used in order to breach the security of cryptography and this lets one get access to the contents in the encrypted messages. This is possible even when the cryptographic key is not known. Along with the cryptographic algorithm and mathematical analysis, the cryptanalysis includes how the side-channel attacks occur that does not target the weakness of the cryptographic algorithm by itself but instead targets to exploit the weakness that is present in its implementation.

The goal of both methods is the same but the techniques and the methods of cryptanalysis have changed over the years. Cryptanalysis has been able to adapt to the complexities of cryptography. This went a long way from the pen and paper method that was used in the past to the advanced schemes of using computers that are used in the present system. The methods that are today used in order to break into the cryptosystems make use of advanced computer algorithms that are constructed by solving pure mathematics problems.

2) Types 

The types of cryptanalysis attacks are as follows:

  • KPA or known-plaintext Analysis is where the attacker decrypts the ciphertext using the partial plaintext.
  • CPA or Chosen-Plaintext Analysis is where the attacker makes use of the collection of ciphertext.
  • MITM or the Man-in-the-Middle attacks is where the attack happens when the two parties make use of the key or message sharing for communication which happens through a channel that looks secure but has actually been compromised on. The attacker employs this attack to intercept the messages that pass through the channel of communication. The hash function will prevent MITM cryptanalysis attacks.
  • ACPA or the Adaptive Chosen-Plaintext Attack is similar to the CPA and this attack makes use of the plaintext that has been chosen. It also uses the ciphertext based on the data that has been learned from the past encryptions.

3) Uses 

A cryptanalysis is an important tool that is used to test the cryptosystems. Cryptanalysis is used to design the new and stronger version of the cryptosystems. Cryptanalysis is used to breach the security systems of cryptography and gain access to the messages that have been encrypted. This is possible even when the cryptographic key is not known.

Cryptanalysis is the process that breaks the codes down to decipher the information that has been encoded. Earlier before cryptanalysis and cryptography were introduced people used to find out ways to hide any sensitive information. With cryptanalysis, people find out new ways to design and secure any sensitive information and keep it safe. Cryptanalysis is a form of art that is used to break codes which in turn helps in the safety of the IT security systems.

4) Diff b/w cryptography and cryptanalysis.

Read below to know about some interesting differences between cryptography and cryptanalysis.

  • Cryptography is the art or the science of encrypting plain messages into a ciphertext for the security of the message especially when there is theft of data while transmission. Cryptanalysis is the art of getting the plain text from the ciphertext but without any knowledge of the key.
  • Cryptography is practiced by a cryptographer and cryptanalysis is practiced by cryptanalysts.
  • The focus of cryptography is on secret writing while that of cryptanalysis is on breaking the secret.
  • The cryptographer will obtain the completely new or an original hash or a cipher. Cryptanalysis will need the hash or the cipher that is more conservative and slower as well as less original.
  • Cryptography uses operations which include substations, product system, and transpositions. The system could be using the same or a different key for sending and receiving. The processing technique makes use of stream or block cipher. In cryptanalysis, the characteristic is dependent on the algorithms and mostly with some knowledge of the plain text characteristics. It aims to find out the key or ciphertext.

5) Tools

Here are some of the web-based tools used in cryptanalysis.

  • CrypTool

Launched in the year 1998 the CrypTool is an e-learning tool that explains cryptanalysis well. It teaches the threats of network security and the working of cryptology. This makes use of the ciphers like RSA that are asymmetric as well as the cryptography that is an elliptical curve.

  • EverCrack

This is an open-source and GPL software and deals with the monoalphabetic substitution and the cipher transposition. It is an engine that offers support in various languages like German, English, Italian, French, and Spanish among many others. The tool was first developed in the C language and today it is mostly concentrated on online and web-based applications. The aim of the design is to break down the ciphers in a systematic manner into simple components to be used in cryptanalysis.

  • Cryptol

This is a software that was developed by a company named Galois Inc. and has been developed by Cryptol. The tools are used in e-learning and are used to analyze algorithms and their implementation. The tools mostly find use in private firms. The programming language is used in various aspects of developing and in using cryptography like in design and in the implementation of any new ciphers. It is used in the verification of the algorithms of the cryptographic that already exists.


By now you must have understood what is cryptanalysis. Most of the modern algorithm encryptions are secure against the known attacks. The broken ones require the knowledge of various concepts of advanced mathematics in order to understand the attacks. There are many kinds of old encoding and encryption algorithms that are possible to be broken down using simple methods. This is because there are many variants of malware that use weak encryption forms. With the understanding of the concepts of basic cryptanalysis techniques, it makes cryptanalysis valuable in cybersecurity.

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