It has an encryption option, and also an autosave option. The passwords are
case-sensitive, alphanumeric and must be from 5 to 10 characters long. They
may include spaces. The password is visible when typed and has to be repeated
before encryption/decryption is applied. The files are saved in simple ASCII
form with the extension "DOC". White space characters, i.e. ASCII characters
whose value is less than 33 within the document are not altered by the
encryption process so the files show word and line structures reflecting the
Observations on the diary files and the use of Mindreader
The spelling in these wasn't 100%, obviously and not consistent. There are also
occasional "glitch" characters indicating accidental and uncorrected key errors.
The use of upper and lower case is not consistent. Punctuation is not always
maintained and the firsr ketter of names and the personal pronoun "I" are not
It is difficult to mistype a password in the encryption / decryption process since it is visible and also has to be repeated. The LL file is not decrypted with the password 'winter'.
It is possible to accidentally select decryption instead of encryption or vice versa if one isn't concentrating when using the drop-down menus. If an incorrect password or encryption process is applied unless one thinks carefully one may not remember that the reverse process has to be applied to get back to the original file (unless one uses the File-Open menu again first. If the autosave is set to "on", then an incorrect application of the encryption / decryption process may overwrite an earlier version of the file. Exiting the program prompts for Save / Abandon if the file has been changed.
Observation of the file LL suggests that it starts with a date (plus one or more extra characters) and then possibly 'my dearest / darling kathy / wife (+1 character) and then begins i am .......'
The story so far
The early years
Dave Smith was given the files several years ago, and, with the help of the
readers of the sci.crypt newsgroup, discovered the algorithm, and the password
used for the diary files ('winter').
The descriptions on these pages are mostly his. Dave worked on the problem for some time, but could not decrypt the LL document. From Dave's notes:
Matt's involvement in 2004
By chance, Dave mentioned the project to me (Matt Gumbley) in 2004, and I
decided to investigate the problem.
I felt that a massively distributed set of computers, as used for other projects such as distributed.net, SETI@Home, etc., could be applied. I developed a central server which would send out batches of keys to clients; these clients would then attempt encryption/decryption of all keys in the supplied batches, and report back any successes. Success being measured with letter-pair frequency analysis.
An initial attempt at a distributed brute force scan is in progress (Sept 2004) assuming that one of the early letters in the text is I, i, A or a - any transform which yields these characters is further examined to discount obvious noise, and then by letter-pair frequency. Anything else is ignored.
I (Matt) prefer the letter-frequency test, since it seems to give clearer results; However I am not an accomplished mathematician, and do not fully understand Chi Square. I'm not concentrating on the multiple encryption / decryption and case shifting hypotheses yet, until I'm certain that a single pass was not involved - i.e. when the current brute-force approach runs out of steam.
I'm also attempting to document the algorithms in plenty of detail, and provide source code to anyone who would like to join our effort, via this web page.
In addition, I'm attempting to reverse the algorithm, so that given the existing
LL ciphertext, and some possible values for the initial bytes of the plaintext,
we can reduce the keyspace.
Volunteers are most welcome to join the project, especially if they have fast
systems, on permanent (broadband/ADSL) connections to the Internet.
I am also attempting to gather knowledge of cryptology, and to find crypto and maths experts who may be able to assist with analysing the algorithm, to find weaknesses, and to possibly even decipher the LL document without resorting to brute force.
I'm in the process of setting up a SourceForge project, mailing lists, etc.
Watch this space, but in the meantime, if you're interested and would like to
get involved, please contact Matt.
For details of the encryption / decryption algorithms, please see