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howto discover which algorithm is used to encrypt a file

Posted on 2005-04-14
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Last Modified: 2010-05-02
Dear Experts,

I got a file which is encrypted with some sort of algortihm but i don't know with which algorithm. Is there any way you can discover which one is used? maybe by looking at it's patern or something like that?

Greets Erik
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Question by:WarLord
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6 Comments
 
LVL 86

Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 13783022
Yes...it's called trial and error.

Basically you try every "known" decryption algorithm and if you get something that matches the "known pattern" or yields readable results then you're done.

If the file was encrypted with an "unkown" algorithm then you have to crack the file yourself.

Alternatively, you can ask our government if you can borrow their top secret little black box that was developed for the specific purpose of decrypting any file no matter how it was encrypted.

Seriously though, WarLord, we are not allowed to help you decrypt files.

Sorry...
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Author Comment

by:WarLord
ID: 13786666
I'm not asking you to decrypt my files i was just interested if there was a way to discovery which algorithm was used. No hard feeling if it isn't possible.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 195 total points
ID: 13786828
Well...most files aren't "tagged" with a header describing what encryption algorithm was used if that's what you are asking.  The file may not even be encrypted, it may just have its own binary format.

Describe what you are doing in more detail and we "may" be able to help you.

Without more specifics then my first post is as close as you can get.  ;)
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Accepted Solution

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2Angel earned 180 total points
ID: 13793952
Hi,

Maybe the file isn't ecrypted? Did you "looked" into the file with a binary editor? What kind of file is it (extenction)? Maybe it is just compresed? Try to use "IsoBuster" or something like that...



Regards
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Author Comment

by:WarLord
ID: 13796593
file extension is .lioc i will have a look with a binary editor
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Expert Comment

by:2Angel
ID: 13806080
Hi,

I also came across that:
http://www.atariarchives.org/cfn/05/11/0207.php

Is that all about?
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