Cryptography is often considered to be one of the harder challenge types because many of the problems require deep specialization to understand. However, we are not teaching deep specialization in this course, we are teaching quick and dirty techniques to solve problems and find resources.
There are a variety of common crypto problems such as:
- Ciphertext only
- Ciphertext + private key and algorithm
- Ciphertext and custom source code
- Ciphertext + public key and algorithm
For the most part, you will always get enough ciphertext for meaningful statistics and for any advanced cryptography problem they will let you know what the algorithm is because the ciphertext will all be totally random. The only time you will get ciphertext only is for very short, classical algorithms.
It is also unlikely that any problem is going to require extensive password cracking or bruteforcing. If you find yourself needing extreme computation, expect to have made a wrong turn somewhere.