Evolutionary techniques such as Genetic Algorithm (GA), Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and Cuckoo Search (CS) are promising nature-inspired meta-heuristic optimization algorithms. Cuckoo Search combined with Lévy flights behavior and Markov chain random walk can search global optimal solution very quickly. The aim of this paper is to investigate the applicability of Cuckoo Search algorithm in cryptanalysis of Vigenere cipher. It is shown that optimal solutions obtained by CS are better than the best solutions obtained by GA or PSO for the analysis of the Vigenere cipher. The results show that a Cuckoo Search based attack is very effective on the Vigenere cryptosystem. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.