Dr. Ladislav Bittman testified before Les Aspin's Subcommittee on
Oversight of the Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence on
Tuesday, February 19, 1980.  Dr. Bittman was Deputy Chief of the
Disinformation Department of the Czech Intelligence Service
[created in 1964].   Dr. Bittman testified to the widespread
disinformation operations originated by the Russians.   He
confirmed what the Soviet spy Reino Hayhanen [code name Victor]
had told us in 1957, that two cipher systems were taught to his
agents to implement anti U.S. Operations (Special Ops) - the VIC
cipher and the One-Time pad.  
Let me focus on interesting elements.

just "VIC."

The VIC algorithm is described as follows:

The PT is encoded by a Substitution Table (ST). The intermediate
CT [ICT]  is then passed through two transposition tables (TT1
and TT2), each performing a different transposition on the ICT.

TT1 performs a simple columnar transposition: the ICT is placed in
TT1 by rows and removed by columns in the order of TT1's columnar
key and transcribed into TT2.

TT2 is vertically partitioned into Disruption , or D areas.  These
partitions are formed by diagonals extending down the table to the
right boundary in columnar key order.  The first D area begins
under column keynumber 1 and extends down to the right border of
TT2.  A row is skipped. The second D area starts under keynumber
2.  The process continues for the entire key.  The number of rows
in TT2 .ne. TT1 and is calculated by dividing the number of CT
input digits by the width of the table.

The ICT from TT1 is inscribed into TT2 horizontally from left to
right skipping the D areas.  When all the non D area is filled ,
then the D areas are filled in the same way.  The CT is removed by
column per key order without regard to the D areas.


The VIC system used four memorized keys.  Key 1 - the date of WWII
victory over Japan - 3/9/1945; Key 2 - the sequence of 5 numbers
like pi - 3.1415; Key 3 - the first 20 letters of the "Lone
Accordion", or famous Russian song/poem, and Key 4 - the agent
number, say 7.   Key 1 was changed regularly.  Key 4 was changed


The keys were used to generate the keys for transposition and
the coordinates for a checkerboard for substitution through a
complex LRE (Left to right enumeration) logic.  The process
injected an arbitrary 5 number group into the CT which strongly
influenced the end result.  This group changed from message to
message, so the enciphering keys (and CT)  would bear no
exploitable relationship to each other.  Not only did TT1 and TT2
keys differ but also the widths of the blocks did as well.
The coordinates kept changing.  The D areas prevented the analyst
from back derivation of the first TT1.  The D areas increased the
difficulty of finding the pattern and the straddling effect on the
checkerboard increased the difficulty of frequency counts.
Although not impossible to break, in practice  a tough monkey
indeed.  The FBI failed for four years to solve it.


All arithmetic was done modulo 10, without carrying or borrowing.

An English ST table might look like this:

               4  9  1  6  0  8  5  2  3  7

               R  E  A  S  O  N  b

            2  B  C  D  F  G  H  J  K  L  M

            3  P  Q  I  U  V  W  X  T  Z  1

            7  3  5  7  9  .  ,  b  $  %  -

b = space character

top line are among most frequent English letters similar to
'SNEGOPAD'  in Russian.

Ambiguity in decipherment is reduced because the last three slots
in the first row are empty and the first coordinate of the two
coordinate characters is unique.

The TT1 and TT2 are built up on the recursion sequence
X(i+5) = X(i) + X(i+1) for i = 1,5 using mod 10 math.  Key 1 was
used to insert at end of message (5th unit in this example). Key 1
was also the initial point for a series of manipulations with
Key 2,3,and 4.


Hayhanen incorporated some nasty refinements.  Before
encipherment, the PT was bifurcated and the two halves switched so
that the standard beginnings and endings could not be identified.
The ST contained a 'message starts' character.  The ST was
extended to ASCII characters.   The VIC encipherment consisted of
one round.  After 1970, with the advent of programmable hand
calculators, a multiple round version was produced.


Consisting of simple enough elements, this cipher is one tough

The complication in substitution was the straddling device on the
checkerboard.  The irregular alternating of coordinates of two
different lengths makes it harder for cryptanalysis by dividing
the list into proper pairs and singletons.

The complication in the transposition was the Disruption areas.
D areas blocked the reconstruction of the first tableau.  A
correct sorting of the columns is forestalled by the D areas.

The keying method is brutal on the agent in a hurry.  Same with
his analyst counterpart.  Key recovery does not permit direct
anagraming between messages.  The four keys are mnemonics.

The CT is only 62% increased over PT because of the high frequency
letters in the first row of the ST.