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Crib

Crib

A crib is a section of an encoded or enciphered message that can easily be rendered into plain text, thus providing a tool whereby a skilled cryptanalyst can crack the entire code or message. A famous example of a "crib" from outside the world of espionage is the Rosetta Stone, used to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Essentially a thank-you note from a group of priests to a magnanimous king, the stone was addressed to the second-century b.c. ruler Ptolemy V, who, like all the Ptolemies, spoke Greek rather than Egyptian. Therefore, the priests sent the note in Greek, as well as in hieroglyphics and demotic, a simplified version of hieroglyphic writing. Thus the French archaeologist Jean-François Champollion, who studied the Rosetta Stone in the early nineteenth century, was able to translate the Greek portion, and from this crack the code first of demotic, and then of hieroglyphics.

Any time a force sends out a message whose content is predictable to the enemy, this offers an opportunity for a resourceful cryptanalyst to find a crib. Thus, when the German high command in World War II sent greetings to Adolf Hitler every April 20the Fuhrer's birthdayit was fairly easy for Allied cryptanalysts to guess the gist of the message. This would have been so no matter how carefully it had been enciphered or encoded, but the Germans sometimes made things even easier by sending the same message in plain text.

FURTHER READING:

BOOKS:

Kahn, David. Kahn on Codes: Secrets of the New Cryptology. New York: Macmillan, 1983.

Konheim, Alan G. Cryptography: A Primer. New York: Wiley, 1981.

Lubbe, J. C. A. van der. Basic Methods of Cryptography. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Newton, David E. Encyclopedia of Cryptology. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1997.

SEE ALSO

ADFGX Cipher
Cryptology, History

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crib

crib / krib/ • n. 1. a young child's bed with barred or latticed sides. ∎  a barred container or rack for animal fodder; a manger. 2. inf. unfair use of notes on an examination or schoolwork. ∎ inf. Brit. a trot: an English crib of Caesar's Gallic Wars. ∎  a thing that has been plagiarized. 3. inf. an apartment or house. 4. short for cribbage. ∎  the cards discarded by the players at cribbage, counting to the dealer. 5. (also crib·work) a heavy timber framework used in foundations for a building or to line a mine shaft. • v. (cribbed , crib·bing ) [tr.] 1. inf. copy (another person's work) illicitly or without acknowledgment: he was taking an exam and didn't want anybody to crib the answers from him | [intr.] he often cribbed from other researchers. ∎ archaic steal. 2. archaic restrain. DERIVATIVES: crib·ber / ˈkribər/ n.

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crib

crib rack for fodder, manger OE.; ox-stall; †wicker basket XIV; cabin, hovel XVI; child's bed XVII. OE. crib(b) = OS. kribbia, OHG. krippa (G. krippe); beside OE. crybb (also repr. by crib in standard Eng.) = MLG. krübbe, Du. krub.
Hence crib vb. †feed as at a manger XV; confine narrowly XVII; pilfer, thieve XVIII (prob. orig. thieves' cant from the sense ‘basket’ of the sb.).

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crib

cribbib, crib, dib, fib, glib, jib, lib, nib, rib, sib, snib, squib •memsahib • Carib • sparerib •Sennacherib

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CRIB

CRIB Current Research in Britain (publication)

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