Secret History: The Story of Cryptology

Secret History: The Story of Cryptology

Book Description
The first edition of this award-winning book attracted a wide audience. This second edition is both a joy to read and a useful classroom tool. Unlike traditional textbooks, it requires no mathematical prerequisites and can be read around the mathematics presented. If used as a textbook, the mathematics can be prioritized, with a book both students and instructors will enjoy reading.
Secret History: The Story of Cryptology, Second Edition incorporates new material concerning various eras in the long history of cryptology. Much has happened concerning the political aspects of cryptology since the first edition appeared. The still unfolding story is updated here.
The first edition of this book contained chapters devoted to the cracking of German and Japanese systems during World War II. Now the other side of this cipher war is also told, that is, how the United States was able to come up with systems that were never broken.
The text is in two parts. Part I presents classic cryptology from ancient times through World War II. Part II examines modern computer cryptology. With numerous real-world examples and extensive references, the author skillfully balances the history with mathematical details, providing readers with a sound foundation in this dynamic field.
  • Presents a chronological development of key concepts
  • Includes the Vigenère cipher, the one-time pad, transposition ciphers, Jefferson’s wheel cipher, Playfair cipher, ADFGX, matrix encryption, Enigma, Purple, and other classic methods
  • Looks at the work of Claude Shannon, the origin of the National Security Agency, elliptic curve cryptography, the Data Encryption Standard, the Advanced Encryption Standard, public-key cryptography, and many other topics
  • New chapters detail SIGABA and SIGSALY, successful systems used during World War II for text and speech, respectively
  • Includes quantum cryptography and the impact of quantum computers


1. Monoalphabetic Substitution Ciphers, or MASCs: Disguises for Messages
2. Simple Progression to an Unbreakable Cipher
3. Transposition Ciphers
4. Shakespeare, Jefferson, and JFK
5. World War I and Herbert O. Yardley
6. Matrix Encryption
7. World War II: The Enigma of Germany
8. Cryptologic War against Japan
9. SIGABA: World War II Defense
10. Enciphering Speech

11. Claude Shannon
12. National Security Agency
13. The Data Encryption Standard
14. The Birth of Public Key Cryptography
15. Attacking RSA
16. Primality Testing and Complexity Theory
17. Authenticity
18. Pretty Good Privacy and Bad Politics
19. Stream Ciphers
20. Suite B All-Stars
21. Toward Tomorrow

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