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NCJ Number: 97485 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Codes and Ciphers - What Do They Mean?
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:54  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1985)  Pages:18-22
Author(s): J Taschner; A R Eberhart
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains how cryptanalysts in the FBI laboratory can decode clandestine business records relating to gambling as well as suspected criminal documents in drug and prostitution cases.
Abstract: Most 'bookie' codes disguise the true meaning of words by substituting abbreviations, symbols, or shortened forms of words. For example, bookmakers may use the horse's number, race number, and a letter designating the track, or a very old masonic cipher. Bookmakers also disguise bettors' and other bookmakers' telephone numbers with more complex codes using keywords. The FBI also has found keyword systems in drug-related laundering schemes and records of a clandestine phencyclidine laboratory. In decoding complex ciphers, the analyst must focus on the specifics of the case, since the key often will be related to the particular crime. Cryptanalysts can derive a wealth of information from the jottings of a drug dealer or trafficker -- including the kinds of drugs, the extent of the operation, the profits, and evidence of conspiracy -- that can help both investigators and prosecutors. Symbols sometimes can represent amounts rather than letters, as the FBI found in a prostitution investigation. Examples of criminal codes and ciphers accompany the text.
Index Term(s): Bookmaking; Cryptanalysis; Drug law enforcement; FBI National Academy; Prostitution
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