CLSG student coding on computer

Coding (and national cipher challenge)

Coding (cipher challenge)

The National Cipher Challenge is a national online competition where school teams compete against each other to crack codes as quickly as possible to gain the maximum amount of points. It takes place for 10-12 weeks each year during the autumn term and during the challenge, two cipher texts are released each week on Thursdays. The team at CLSG, which meets after school every week, and is led by a team captain supports each other and prioritises teamwork and collaboration. The ciphers get harder with every week and cracking the first code of the week often gives hints for how to crack the second code. Each week, different students think of different approaches to cracking the code, and the team organises themselves so that everyone contributes according to their own strengths. Some focus on writing computer programmes through brute force (cryptanalysis methods), whilst others research the history of certain ciphers. The final challenge is extremely difficult- and the ranking tables are published online.