Station HYPO

Celebrating the Past, Present and Future of Navy Cryptology


January 2023

Remembering Col John R. Boyd, USAF, Architect of the OODA Loop

COL John Richard Boyd (January 23, 1927 – March 9, 1997) was a United States Air Force fighter pilot and Pentagon consultant during the second half of the 20th century. His theories have been highly influential in military, sports, business, and litigation strategies and planning.

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FBI Confirms Zodiac Killer’s Infamous 340 Cipher Has Been Decoded, And His Message Finally Revealed

The FBI have confirmed that a group of codebreakers have managed to crack the infamous 340 cipher used by the Zodiac Killer over 50 years ago.

In the late 1960s, heading into the early 1970s, a serial killer going by the pseudonym “Zodiac” murdered at least five people in California. During his spree, the killer sent taunting messages to the press written through a cipher, where letters are substituted for different letters or numbers (or in the case of the Zodiac killer, a series of symbols). 

What is the 340 Cipher?

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Russia tied down in Ukraine but Subs hold U.S. ‘at risk!’

A year of renewed fighting in Ukraine has depleted and embarrassed Russia’s air, ground, and naval forces, but one component of Russia’s otherwise struggling military — its submarines — still worries US commanders.

Submarines are a relative bright spot in Russia’s recent naval modernization efforts, especially the Severodvinsk-class subs that US officials say are hard to detect and capable of striking important targets in Europe and the US.

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U.S. Coast Guard is tracking a Russian “intelligence gathering ship” off Hawaii

U.S. Coast Guard officials are monitoring a Russian ship seen in waters near the Hawaiian Islands they believe is being used to gather intelligence, the agency said this week.

In a news release issued on Wednesday, the Coast Guard noted that international laws allow foreign military vessels to travel freely through the U.S. economic exclusive zone, which designates portions of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans where the U.S. and other coastal nations have control over natural resources, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But “foreign-flagged military vessels,” conceivably, like the Russian ship under surveillance near Hawaii, “have often been observed operating and loitering” in that particular area, according to the Coast Guard. 

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January 19, 1986 The First Computer Virus

Brain, the first personal computer virus started infecting floppy disks in 1986. The virus was created by two brothers, Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi, who ran a computer store in Pakistan and were tired of customers making illegal copies of their software. Brain had a hidden copyright message, but unlike other PC viruses, didn’t corrupt any data.

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German Spy Lothar Witzke Arrested

On January 18, 1918 the German spy Lothar Witzke was arrested carrying a codebook and an encrypted message. The message was signed by the German minister in Mexico City and was studied by Herbert Yardley and Dr. John Manly of MI8 in Washington, DC. The message proved to be a transposition cipher. At the end of three days, Manly had transcribed the message, which was damning in that it identified the bearer as a secret agent.

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