in reply to encryption

An alternative, of course, is to use a statistical method: use the chi-squared test (see Mathworld).

Let F_a(x) be the frequency of some letter, x, in you're alphabet, and let F_m(x) be the frequency of some letter, x, in the message. Now, for all 0 <= s <= 25 calculate for each letter, x, in your alphabet the sum of the squares of F_m((x + s)(mod 26)) / F_a(x). The value of s for which this obtains a minimum is the shift used to encipher the message.

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