This specification discloses a system that provides multiple level encipherment of a block of data by means of a stepped block cipher process. A data stream consisting of digital information is segmented into blocks of dimension D, each block is enciphered by means of a block cipher cryptographic system operating under the control of a unique subscriber digital key. The cryptographic system develops a first cipher text of equal dimension as the block D. Then the cryptographic system is effectively shifted to accept a plurality of data bits from a second data block and a plurality of bits from the first cipher. The combination of block data bits and ciphertext data bits forms a composite block of dimension equal to the data block D. This combination is introduced to the cryptographic device for developing a second cipher text. The combined output of the second ciphertext and those information symbols from the first ciphertext which were not reintroduced to the cryptographic device are transmitted as a complete unit to a receiving station which will decipher the received multiple level cryptogram by an inverse process.The multiple level encipherment process is also utilized in a variant key embodiment which would encipher a data block D into a cipher C which is a function of a key control block consisting of a random combination binary digits that are continuously changing.In a further embodiment which utilizes multiple level encipherment, there is presented a method for providing secrecy in communications between a central processing unit and its data banks.