Concept

# Caesar cipher

Summary
In cryptography, a Caesar cipher, also known as Caesar's cipher, the shift cipher, Caesar's code, or Caesar shift, is one of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques. It is a type of substitution cipher in which each letter in the plaintext is replaced by a letter some fixed number of positions down the alphabet. For example, with a left shift of 3, would be replaced by , would become , and so on. The method is named after Julius Caesar, who used it in his private correspondence. The encryption step performed by a Caesar cipher is often incorporated as part of more complex schemes, such as the Vigenère cipher, and still has modern application in the ROT13 system. As with all single-alphabet substitution ciphers, the Caesar cipher is easily broken and in modern practice offers essentially no communications security. The transformation can be represented by aligning two alphabets; the cipher alphabet is the plain alphabet rotated left or right by some number of positions. For instance, here is a Caesar cipher using a left rotation of three places, equivalent to a right shift of 23 (the shift parameter is used as the key): When encrypting, a person looks up each letter of the message in the "plain" line and writes down the corresponding letter in the "cipher" line. Plaintext: THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG Ciphertext: QEB NRFZH YOLTK CLU GRJMP LSBO QEB IXWV ALD Deciphering is done in reverse, with a right shift of 3. The encryption can also be represented using modular arithmetic by first transforming the letters into numbers, according to the scheme, A → 0, B → 1, ..., Z → 25. Encryption of a letter x by a shift n can be described mathematically as, Decryption is performed similarly, (Here, "mod" refers to the modulo operation. The value x is in the range 0 to 25, but if x + n or x − n are not in this range then 26 should be added or subtracted.) The replacement remains the same throughout the message, so the cipher is classed as a type of monoalphabetic substitution, as opposed to polyalphabetic substitution.