Secret History: The Story of Cryptology

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CRC Press, Apr 19, 2016 - Computers - 620 pages
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Winner of an Outstanding Academic Title Award from CHOICE Magazine

Most available cryptology books primarily focus on either mathematics or history. Breaking this mold, Secret History: The Story of Cryptology gives a thorough yet accessible treatment of both the mathematics and history of cryptology. Requiring minimal mathematical prerequisites, the book presents the mathematics in sufficient detail and weaves the history throughout the chapters. In addition to the fascinating historical and political sides of cryptology, the author—a former Scholar-in-Residence at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Center for Cryptologic History—includes interesting instances of codes and ciphers in crime, literature, music, and art.

Following a mainly chronological development of concepts, the book focuses on classical cryptology in the first part. It covers Greek and Viking cryptography, the Vigenère cipher, the one-time pad, transposition ciphers, Jefferson’s cipher wheel, the Playfair cipher, ADFGX, matrix encryption, World War II cipher systems (including a detailed examination of Enigma), and many other classical methods introduced before World War II.

The second part of the book examines modern cryptology. The author looks at the work of Claude Shannon and the origin and current status of the NSA, including some of its Suite B algorithms such as elliptic curve cryptography and the Advanced Encryption Standard. He also details the controversy that surrounded the Data Encryption Standard and the early years of public key cryptography. The book not only provides the how-to of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange and RSA algorithm, but also covers many attacks on the latter. Additionally, it discusses Elgamal, digital signatures, PGP, and stream ciphers and explores future directions such as quantum cryptography and DNA computing.

With numerous real-world examples and extensive references, this book skillfully balances the historical aspects of cryptology with its mathematical details. It provides readers with a sound foundation in this dynamic field.

Please visit Dr. Bauer's website, which provides access to exercise sets:


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Chapter 1 Ancient Roots
Disguises for Messages
Chapter 3 Simple Progression to an Unbreakable Cipher
Chapter 4 Transposition Ciphers
Chapter 5 Shakespeare Jefferson and JFK
Chapter 6 World War I and Herbert O Yardley
Chapter 7 Matrix Encryption
The Enigma of Germany
Chapter 12 Data Encryption Standard
Chapter 13 Birth of Public Key Cryptography
Chapter 14 Attacking RSA
Chapter 15 Primality Testing and Complexity Theory
Chapter 16 Authenticity
Chapter 17 Pretty Good Privacy
Chapter 18 Stream Ciphers
Chapter 19 Suite B AllStars

Chapter 9 Cryptologic War against Japan
Chapter 10 Claude Shannon
Chapter 11 National Security Agency
Chapter 20 Possible Futures
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About the author (2016)

Craig P. Bauer is an associate professor of mathematics at York College of Pennsylvania and the editor-in-chief of Cryptologia. He was the 2011-2012 Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency (NSA) Center for Cryptologic History, where he wrote several papers for NSA journals, gave a large number of lectures, and made substantial progress on a second book focused on unsolved codes and ciphers. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from North Carolina State University.

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