Cryptography, the study of secret writing, has been around for a very long time, from simplistic techniques to sophisticated mathematical techniques. No matter what the form however, there are some underlying things that must be done – encrypt the message and decrypt the encoded message.

One of the earliest and simplest methods ever used to encrypt and decrypt messages is called the Caesar cipher method, used by Julius Caesar during the Gallic war. According to this method, letters of the alphabet are shifted by three, wrapping around at the end of the alphabet. For example,

PlainTest: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Caesar shift: d e f g h I j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z a b c

When encrypting a message, you take each letter of the message and replace it with its corresponding letter from the shifted alphabet. To decrypt an encoded message, you simply reverse the operation. That is, you take the letter from the shifted alphabet and replace it with the corresponding letter from the plaintext alphabet. Thus the string the quick brown fox becomes wkh txlfn eurzq ira

Another type of cipher is known as Transposition cipher. In this type of cipher, letters in the original message are re-arranged in some methodical way – for instance, reverse the letters in each string. Thus the string the quick brown fox becomes eht kciuq nworb xof

Still yet another cipher method is the Reverser cipher. This method does not only reverses the letters in each word, but as does the Transposition cipher, but it also reverses the result generated from the Transposition cipher. Hence the original message the quick brown fox becomes xof nworb kciuq eht

Class design

Here are three Cryptography methods – Caesar, Transposition and Reverser. They all have something in common. They encrypt and decrypt messages. That is, they take a string of words and translate each word using the encoding algorithm appropriate for that cipher. Thus each class cipher will need polymorphic encode() and decode() methods, which take a word and encodes and decodes it according to the rule of the particular cipher.

From a design perspective, the encrypt() method and the decrypt() methods will be the same for every class. They simply break message into words and have each word encode or decode. However, the encode and decode methods will be different for each cipher. Figure 1 shows a hierarchy of the classes. See image.

From the above analysis a partial abstract class Cipher is depicted be by Listing 1.

import java.util.StringTokenizer; public abstract class Cipher { private String message; // The message string StringBuffer encrypted_message, decrypted_message; public Cipher(String text) { // Complete definition } public final void encrypt() { /* The message string is tokenized into individual words, and each word is encoded by calling the encode method */ encrypted_message = new StringBuffer(""); StringTokenizer words = new StringTokenizer(message); while(words.hasMoreTokens()) { String s = words.nextToken(); s = encode(s) + " "; encrypted_message.append(s); } } public final void decrypt(String message) { /* The encoded message string is tokenized into individual words, and each word is encoded by calling the decode method */ decrypted_message = new StringBuffer(""); StringTokenizer words = new StringTokenizer(message); while(words.hasMoreTokens()) { String s = words.nextToken(); s = decode(s) + " "; decrypted_message.append(s); } } String getEncodedMessage() { return encrypted_message.toString(); } String getDecodedMessage() { return decrypted_message.toString(); } public abstract String encode(String s); public abstract String decode(String s); }

Listing 1. Abstract class Cipher

The class Caesar inherits the abstract class Cipher. This class defines the methods code and decode. The method encode takes a String parameter and returns a String result. It takes each character of the parameter and performs a Caesar shift on the character. That is, a shift with possible wrap around can be coded as follows:

char ch = word.charAt(i);
ch = (char)(‘a’ + ch – ‘a’ + 3) % 26);

The method decode does the reverse. Listing 2 shows a partial definition of this class - Caesar

public class Caeser extends Cipher { public Caeser(String s) { super(s); } public String encode(String word) { StringBuffer result = new StringBuffer(); for (int i = 0; i < word.length(); i++) { char ch = word.charAt(i); ch = determineCharacter(ch, Constants. ENCODE_SHIFT); result.append(ch); } return result.toString(); } public String decode(String word) { // Complete the method and return the decoded word } public char determineCharacter(char ch, int shift) { if(Character.isLowerCase(ch)) ch = (char)('a' + (ch - 'a' + shift) % Constants.WRAP_AROUND); return ch; } }

Listing 2.

In similar fashion, the class Transpose inherits Cipher and defines the methods code and encode. Listing 3 shows an incomplete definition of the class Transpose.

public class Transpose extends Cipher { Transpose(String s) { super(s); } public String encode(String word) { //Complete the method and return the encoded word } public String decode(String word) { // Complete the method and return the decoded word } }

Listing 3

The class Reverser inherits the class Transpose. Listing 4 shows an incomplete definition of this class.

public class Reverser extends Transpose { Reverser(String s) { super(s); } String reverseText(String word) { // Complete the method and returns the reverse transposed version; } }

Listing 4

Things to do From the above discussion

  • Complete the classes Cipher, Caesar, and Transpose, and Reverser. In addition
  • Define an interface called Constants that will store the value 26 in the identifier WRAP_AROUND; similarly, store 3 in the identifier, ENCODE_SHIFT, and 23 in the identifier DECODE_SHIFT (needed to decode the encoded message). The code in the method determineCharacter(char ch, int shift) accounts for lower case letters only. Extend the code to include both upper and lower case letters.

Listing 5

Use the following test class to implement your other classes.

import javax.swing.JOptionPane; class TestEncryption { public static void main(String arg[]) { String code, output = ""; String text = JOptionPane.showInputDialog("Enter message"); output += "The original message is n" + text + "n"; Cipher c = new Caeser(text); c.encrypt(); code = c.getEncodedMessage(); output += "nCeasar CiphernThe encrypted message is n" + code + "n"; c.decrypt(code); code = c.getDecodedMessage(); output +="The decrypted message is n" + code + "n"; c = new Transpose(text); c.encrypt(); code = c.getEncodedMessage(); output += "nTransposenThe encrypted Transpose message is n" + code + "n"; c.decrypt(code); code = c.getDecodedMessage(); output +="The decripted Transpose message is n" + code + "n"; Reverser r = new Reverser(text); r.encrypt(); code = r.reverseText( r.getEncodedMessage() ); output += "nReversernThe encrypted Reverse message is n" + code+ "n"; code = r.decode(code); output+="The decrypted Reverse message is n" + code; System.out.println(output); } }

Listing 5

A typical output from the program can be seen in Fig. 2. See image.

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