The Kryptos Project began at George Mason University. The idea was to develop educational software that could be used to further break down and study different aspects of the implementation of cryptography. Ashraf AbuSharekh developed the first working edition of Kryptos at GMU, Kryptos v 1.0. The implementation of Kryptos currently is quite extensive, but the need and desire for expansion is very evident.
Kryptos is a sculpture located on the grounds of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Installed in 1990, its thousands of characters contain encrypted messages, of which three have been solved (so far). There is still a fourth section at the bottom consisting of 97 or 98 characters which remains uncracked, and is considered to be one of the most famous unsolved codes in the world. Kryptos is composed of several sections. The most famous is a wavy copper screen covered with about 1800 encrypted characters, next to a petrified tree, a gently rippling circular pool, and various types of rocks. Other pieces include several large slabs of granite with sandwiched sheets of copper with morse code messages, a landscaped area with granite slabs and a duck pond, and an engraved compass with a needle pointing at a lodestone.
Through extensive research conducted at GMU it was realized that there are few educational tools that have the ability to help students study the implementation of cryptographic algorithms. GMU would like to share this software with other educational institutes as a tool to enhance learning. We would also like to expand the tool as much as possile to make the learning process as effective as possible. The best way to do this is to make the Kryptos Project open source and solicit others to help add to the projects abilities.
Kryptos v 2.0 was designed primarily to run with only one cryptographic library, Crypto++. Kryptos v 3.0 added support for OpenSSL.
Kryptos v 1.0 was designed primarily to run with only one cryptographic library, Crypto++. Kryptos v 2.0 was a change in development philosophy. The main purpose was to increase the ability to expand Kryptos within the Open Source Project.
Kryptos v 3.0 is built using Visual C++ 2005, and all changes should be compilable using aforementioned software. All changes submitted will become part of the Kryptos Project if accepted. A board will convene when changes are submitted to review and assess them and decide whether they will be implemented. Graphical User Interface changes will be viewed as cosmetic changes and will not be considered high priority.
Submit a patch or bug report through the SourceForge project page.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
George Mason University
Science & Technology II
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Phone: (703) 993-1569
Fax: (703) 993-1601