Date & time (UTC/GMT):
June 26, 2021 5:00 PM
As true-crime books and TV shows are booming, there is also a growing interest in ciphers that have played a role in crimes. For instance, the Zodiac Killer, who sent four encrypted messages to newspapers in the late 1960s , once again hit the news recently when his second ciphertext was broken in late 2020. There are many other stories of this kind, involving solved and unsolved crimes as well as solved and unsolved codes. This presentation covers some of the most interesting ones. It will introduce, among others, the messages created by the convicted wife murderer Henry Debosnys in the late 1800s, the cryptic note left behind by the mysterious Somerton Man in Australia in 1948, and the encryption systems used by the German terrorist group RAF in the 1970s. Finally, the use of computer-based encryption by criminals will be addressed, along with some discussion about crypto backdoors for law enforcement agencies.