One Time Pads

There is certain fascination with the One Time Pad (or Vernam cipher) among people interested in cryptography.
One of the reasons is the famous fact that it is the only provably secure cipher. Shannon`s theoretical insight cemented the fame of the OTP as the only truly unbreakable cipher. For those that already don`t know how it works and why it is unbreakable the following links will give a very good intro:

Dirk`s Rijmenants website, “A one-time pad isn’t a cryptosystem:” it’s a state of mind and of course the entry at Wikipedia

Another reason is the spy-vs-spy aspect of the OTP. The NSA’s VENONA pages abound in details about the successful deciphering of many KGB documents enciphered with OTPs during 1942 and 1980. The KGB’s cryptographic material manufacturing center apparently reused some of the pages from one-time pads, breaking one of the fundamental rules of the OTPs, use the random material only once.

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