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Secret Letters

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 3.8 Secret Letters

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Martial Secret Teachings 3.8 (25)

Observed lessons

  • When simple codes are not enough, use letters.
  • Divide the letters so no one letter gives full information.
  • Do not let messengers know the content of what they carry.

Discussion

Secret tallies are symbols that represent a limited number of key messages that the reader will understand. Sometimes you need to send more complex or non-standard messages, in which case you will need to resort to words. The problem with words is that, if captured, they can be read. Even if written in code, the code may yet be cracked.

A simple way of sending text that cannot be understood is to break the letter into pieces and send each by a different route. Even if one part is intercepted, the whole message cannot be read. The more parts the message is broken into, the harder it will be to glean any information from each one.

In modern times, a typical use for this is to send a login user name and password by separate email messages.

See also

Secret Tallies

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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