We will illustrate a possible way to crib PURPLE ciphertext. We use English-language plaintext, the 1-gram English probabilities included in Chapter 3, and the PURPLE parameters in Example 7.7.
Even if a message indicator containing identifiers of the initial stepper settings was included in the clear in a message, the decipherment of intercepted PURPLE ciphertext depends on a large number of parameters which must be recovered.
VS: 25 × 6 entries in the vowel-stepper ciphertext alphabet;
CS: 3 × 25 × 20 entries in the consonant-stepper ciphertext alphabet;
PL: the plugboard connections.
In our analysis the initial settings are all 0; this is of no consequence in recovering the V-stepper. We indicate in Section 7.9.2 how the analysis of the C-steppers is effected and what changes must be made. We will sketch the ideas to find the V-stepper first and then illustrate them with an example. The plan of attack is a follows:
(a) a crib u,
(b) a corresponding ciphertext fragment v with the same vowel/consonant pattern as u,
(c) the V-stepper position i at which u → v occurs, and
(d) a score for entry.