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Definition: Cryptanalysis (from the Greek..., "to loosen" or "to untie") is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information, without access to the secret information which is normally required to do so. Typically, this involves knowing how the system works and finding a secret key. In non-technical language, this is the practice of codebreaking or cracking the code, although these phrases also have a specialised technical meaning.