Nature-Inspired Cryptoanalysis Methods for Breaking Vigenère Cipher

  • Lucija BrezočnikEmail author
  • Iztok FisterJr.
  • Vili PodgorelecEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS, volume 128)


The protection of sensitive data against unauthorized access remains a primary concern of modern life. Over time, many different approaches have been introduced to tackle this problem, from substitution ciphers in classic cryptography to post-quantum cryptography as a representative of modern cryptography. In this paper, we focus on a polyalphabetic substitution cipher, precisely the Vigenere cipher. For a cryptoanalysis of the latter, we utilized five nature-inspired algorithms, i.e., Differential Evolution, Firefly Algorithm, Particle Swarm Optimization, Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm, and Cuckoo Search, were utilized. Furthermore, different key lengths were analysed to investigate the search behaviour of the selected algorithms. The results of the experiment show that the applicability of the nature- inspired algorithms for cryptoanalysis is very promising. Out of the tested algorithms, the Differential Evolution outperformed other algorithms.


Cryptoanalysis Nature-inspired algorithms Swarm intelligence Vigenère cipher 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (Research Core Funding No. P2-0057).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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