Break it down

At the weekend, my son showed me a piece of encrypted text in one of the books he was reading. It was obviously there to be broken, but it was really good fun doing frequency analysis on the letters to check that it was a substitution cipher, and then using guesswork to break the message down. In this case, the big clue was the presence of two words TCO and TCOJ. The exercise made it clear just how easy this kind of scheme is to break, so never use it to protect anything of value!

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