The code book: How to make it, break it, hack it, crack it, by Simon Singh

By Simon Singh

It’s referred to as the technology of secrecy. Cryptography: the encoding and interpreting of personal info. And it really is history’s such a lot attention-grabbing tale of intrigue and crafty. From Julius Caesar and his Caesar Cipher to the code utilized by Mary Queen of Scots and her conspiracy to using the Engima computer through the moment international struggle, Simon Singh follows the evolution of mystery writing. obtainable, compelling, and well timed, this foreign bestseller, now tailored for kids, is bound to make readers see the past—and the future—in an entire new means. From the Hardcover version.

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Extra info for The code book: How to make it, break it, hack it, crack it, for young people

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You could encipher each plaintext letter according to any one of the twenty-six cipher alphabets. For example, if cipher alphabet number 2 is used, then the letter a is enciphered as C, but if cipher alphabet number 12 is used, then a is enciphered as M. If the sender were to use just one of the cipher alphabets to encipher an entire message, this would effectively be a simple Caesar cipher, which would be a very weak form of encryption, easily deciphered by an enemy interceptor. However, in the Vigenère cipher a different row of the Vigenère square (a different cipher alphabet) is used to encrypt different letters of the message.

First, once the sender and receiver have agreed upon the twenty-six letters in the cipher alphabet (the key), they can encipher any message, but to achieve the same level of flexibility using a code they would need to go through the painstaking task of defining a codeword for every one of the thousands of possible 34 The Cipher of Mary Queen of Scots plaintext words. The codebook would consist of hundreds of pages, and would look something like a dictionary. In other words, compiling a codebook is a major task, and carrying it around is a major inconvenience.

Plain alphabet a b c d e f g h i j k l mn o p q r s t u v w x y z Cipher alphabet 1 F Z B V K I X A Y M E P L S D H J O R G N Q C U TW Cipher alphabet 2 GO X B F WT HQ I L A P Z J D E S V Y C R K UH N For example, here we have two possible cipher alphabets, and we could encrypt a message by alternating between them. To encrypt the message hello, we would encrypt the first letter according to the first cipher alphabet, so that h becomes A, but we would encrypt the second letter according to the second cipher alphabet, so that e becomes F.

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