Re: "Decrypt" and "decipher"

Subject: Re: "Decrypt" and "decipher"
From: "Frank T. Kryza" <ftkryza -at- metronet -dot- com>
To: "F. Marc de Piolenc" <piolenc -at- mozcom -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 06:45:18 -0600 (CST)


Actually, it's the other way around: a code clerk decrypts a message to
which he has the key, a code breaker deciphers a message using the tools
of cryptanalysis. There is also, of course, a distinction between a code
and a cipher.

=====================================================================

On Thu, 2 Dec 1999, F. Marc de Piolenc wrote:

> Both are valid verbs and both mean to convert ciphertext to plaintext.
> But there is a subtle difference: one refers to doing this when in
> rightful possession of the algorithm and key, and the other refers to
> code "breaking." The trouble is, I can't recall which is which! I THINK
> that "decipher" refers to what a code clerk does, while "decrypt" is
> what the NSA tries to do with other people's mail.
>
> Marc de Piolenc
> Autodidactics
>
>
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