About me

Hi! My Name is Nils Kopal.
I am a cryptography expert and maniac, astro photographer, retro computer tinkerer, and hobby YouTuber :-). You are here on my private blog, where I mainly blog about historical, classical, and modern cryptography. I build this blog as an addition to my YouTube channel “Cryptography for everybody” (see below).

Thats me! In the trailer of my YouTube channel “Cryptography for everybody” 🙂

I hope you enjoy your stay on my blog,


In the following, you learn a little more about my current activities:

The Decrypt Project

Right now, I work for the DECRYPT research project at the University of Siegen. In this international and interdisciplinary project, we research historical cryptology in all of its aspects. Feel free to have a look at our project page: http://www.de-crypt.org. In the project, I am responsible for cryptanalysis. For my scientific publications have a look at this page.
You can also find me on research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nils-Kopal.

CrypTool 2

Besides working for DECRYPT, I am the project leader of CrypTool 2 (CT2). CT2 is an open-source e-learning software for cryptology (cryptography and cryptanalysis) and freely available. I develop new components for CT2, but also supervise bachelor and master projects at different universities (e.g. Siegen, Mannheim, Bochum, Munich, and others) developing and researching for the CrypTool project. Visit our CrypTool project webpage: https://www.cryptool.org.

CryptoBooks – Our Bibliography of Crypto Books

Another topic I am involved in is our web project “cryptobooks”, a bibliography of historical books about cryptography. Together with Tobias Schrödel (visit his website https://www.sichere.it) I created https://www.cryptobooks.org. Tobias and I are both (crazy!) collectors of such historic cryptography books and Tobias already created long ago an online database about such books. Together, we now created and maintain our online bibliography.

My Cryptography YouTube Channel

Some years ago, I started my YouTube channel about cryptology “Cryptography for everybody”, named after the CrypTool project’s motto. In my videos, I mainly use CrypTool softwares for the demonstration of cryptology. Visit my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/CrypTool2/.


Astro Photography

I’ve also been an amateur astrophotographer since late 2022 (see https://www.astrobin.com/users/NilsAstro/). This one is the best image, one of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), I’ve taken so far with my 750mm Newton telescope:

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

Here is another nice image I took. It is M42, the Great Orion Nebula (and you can see M43, the Running Man Nebula above it). It is a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes of RGB data capture with my 500mm APO telescope:

The Great Orion Nebula (M42) and the Running Man Nebula (M43)

My Retro Computing YouTube Channel

Also, I am a retro computing guy. I tinker with old computers (especially Commodore computers), solder, play games, and program (e.g. 6502 asm). I also uploaded sdome videos about that hobby to a second YouTube channel — but currently I don’t plan to further upload new videos. I just don’t have the time to do so :-(. But feel free to visit the other channel and watch the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/c/NilsRetroHobbyRoom.

Nils' Retro Hobby Room logo

Me on GitHub & Discord

You will find many crypto-related (and other) softare projects I created on GitHub: https://github.com/n1k0m0

Finally, If you want to chat and hang digitally hang out together, you should join the “Cryptography for everybody” Discord server: https://discord.gg/8JeTZd8EpT