Attacking the 340 using genetic programming
Does the 340 cipher contain simple manipulations that have confounded all attempts to crack it? Dan Umanovskis, the skilled programmer who hacked together zkdecrypto-lite, has created a new kind of attack to explore this possibility. Using a genetic programming approach, his new algorithm evolves manipulations of the cipher text, such as swapping rows, removing columns, and flipping the text. The algorithm then feeds the modified cipher text to zkdecrypto-lite which hunts for readable plain text. Candidate manipulations that result in higher zkdecrypto scores are kept (“survival of the fittest”) and “bred” (mixed together) to look for even better scores.
Hopefully his approach will bear fruit. Even if it doesn’t find a solution to the 340, it can be used to exclude certain possibilities. For instance, you can create many test ciphers that resemble the 340 and contain the types of manipulations that the algorithm searches for. If the algorithm can successfully crack all the test ciphers, and no solutions are appearing for the 340, then it’s likely the 340 uses some other method of encryption.
You can download and play with Dan’s algorithm here: https://github.com/umanovskis/lgp-decrypto, and read Dan’s description here: http://www.zodiackillerfacts.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=1537.