I Smell Packets

Solution to The Crypto Kitchen Packet Challenge (Easy Version)
August 11, 2009, 4:19 am
Filed under: Packet Challenge, Vigenere

Here is the solution to the easy version of the Crypto Kitchen Packet Challenge from Alec R Waters (@alecrwaters on twitter). Thanks for the challenge Alec. By the way, Alec’s blog is http://wirewatcher.wordpress.com.

Alec writes:

Everything needed to discover the secret ingredient is in the email,
hidden in plain sight – all we have to do is look hard enough!

The first thing to notice is amongst the list of ingredients. The recipe
calls for:

“30 ml Balsamic vigenere”

“Vigenere”, huh? That’s not an ingredient, that’s a cipher!

Now we have to look for something that could be ciphertext. The most
likely thing is the Message-ID:

Message-ID: <Pmjeyeglwfh7F@i.eat.packets>

So our current theory is that Pmjeyeglwfh7F is the product of a Vigenere
cipher. All we need is the key (or enough time to brute-force it!)

Fortunately, the key is provided in the message too:

“discretion is the key”

Decrypting Pmjeyeglwfh7F using the Vigenere cipher and a key of
“discretion” gives us:


…which is apparently the secret ingredient in a certain brand of soft drink 🙂

Chris continues:

I’ll post the solution to the hard version tomorrow.


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