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5 Essential Websites to Master Codebusters


William Lee

ScioVirtual Instructor


Michelle Li

ScioVirtual Instructor



ScioVirtual Instructor

Here's the ultimate guide to all the amazing cryptography resources!

I have the links that were the most helpful for me last season in bold. However, don’t underestimate the other ones! There’s a lot left out there that I haven’t yet made much use of.

Your Bread and Butter (The Holy Grail) - an online source for basic aristocrats; don’t underestimate how much this website can help you (it’s basically all I did last season)

  • Create an account and hit the “play” option to participate in the monthly competitions for accuracy, speed, or total points.

By the National Supervisors - all the practice tests you could ever want. You can also create your own tests or look at step-by-step walkthroughs on some of the sample questions. John Toebes is also a pretty nice guy, and if you want to win him over just mention that you’ve used his website before.

  • - When making a test, be sure to make good use of this guide. It also gives you a sense of the point value spread you’ll need to get used to in order to find out which ciphers you’ll prioritize. - has a good amount of information to digest and goes very in-depth with different helpful links, books, and various examples waiting for you at the bottom of the page. Unlike John Toebes, this guy is a weirdo. Do not talk to him about zebra skeletons.

General - a good introduction to the different cipher types and strategies - common word patterns! 

For Studying - has good readings and practice for many ciphers; peruse the entirety of website as this link will really help you become more knowledgeable and competitive - Practical Cryptography and Crypto Corner are the most helpful study links I came across last year

Frequencies - basic frequencies - English letter/n-gram frequencies - Spanish letter/n-gram frequencies - don’t get too overwhelmed - same deal in Spanish

Further Reading - plaintext attack (monosubs) - use this entire playlist (even what seems unneeded). It’ll help you later on with the mathematical side of Code (especially Hill and RSA)

Cipher Specific


  • Both dedicated to solving Vigenere ciphers without a given key (the most popular technique being Kasiski’s Method)


Fractionating Ciphers - Crypto Corner

fractionated morse cipher

Morbit Cipher - Decoder, Encoder, Solver, Translator

RSA: (use the Khan Academy videos provided above first for a better understanding) (explanation) (reading) (tutorial and calculator) (calculator)

Tools - not to be confused with the first link way up there. Under the “Resources” tab you will find a cipher solver when you are stuck, explanations of various ciphers (way more than you’ll ever need to understand), and word lists in a ton of languages. - decoder - decoder with a cleaner user interface - substitution encoder - interactive learning through games

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