03 OCT 2019

Can you crack the code? At Goldman Sachs we are… [UPDATE: Answer revealed]

Our engineering team is participating at Grace Hopper Celebration this week to engage with fellow attendees and promote what we do best. Want to know what that is? Solve this puzzle to find out:

Answer:

Whether it is by leveraging machine learning to turn data into action, or proactively guarding against cyber threats, at Goldman Sachs we are engineering the future of global finance. Join us. Learn more about Goldman Sachs Engineering and see yourself here.

 

About the cipher:

In cryptography, this is known as a columnar transposition cipher, where text is written out in rows and encoded with a key to establish the number of columns used and to order how we read these columns.

NTA  GUN  IL  HL  FI  GB  TA  NO  NEE  EF  EF  EUN  RG  IRC

We can add an extra layer of complexity by re-spacing into 5-letter groups.

NTAGU  NILHL  FIGBT  ANONE  EEFEF  EUNRG  EOIRC

 

How to solve: 

To easily solve this code, use the key: See yourself here.
1. Reconstruct the box with the key length (15 letters) and the text length (35 letters). By dividing 35 ÷ 15 we can assume the box has 15 columns, 2 full rows and 1 partial row.
2. Start inserting the encoded text according to the order given by the key until the whole message is reconstructed.

To solve without a key, there are two basic steps to follow:
1. Test different key lengths and take note of any length where the letters in each column might work consecutively.
2. Once you have the key length, sort the columns around to start discovering possible fragments of text.