Paper 2016/005

A Columnar Transposition cipher in a contemporary setting.

John Jones


A simple cryptographic method, a type of columnar transposition cipher, is described which may be used in series with other methods to provide practical hybrid encryption. The method involves the use of a deterministic Cryptographic Pseudo Random Number Generator (CPRNG) to specify an unbiased random transposition of blocks of plain-text or intermediate text. The decryption process involves applying a reverse transposition at the appropriate stage. The method may be applied at a single stage or several stages. The unit of transposition may be a bit or a byte or larger block. The method, when added in series with existing encryption methods, can deter attacks which exploit known weaknesses. The method could be applied at several scales in order to obscure structures within the plain-text, e.g. at the bit level, to obscure the almost fixed transmission headers; at the computer word-level, to disguise application record structures. Two (incompatible) outline implementations are presented. One for use with a block cipher and one for use with a stream cipher The specification of necessary configuration parameters required to amend or construct a software or hardware implementation is avoided in this preliminary article

Available format(s)
Secret-key cryptography
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
block ciphersstream ciphers
Contact author(s)
weprct @ gmail com
2016-01-04: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial


      author = {John Jones},
      title = {A Columnar Transposition cipher in a contemporary setting.},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/005},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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