Cryptology Unlocked

Author: Reinhard Wobst

Published in: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 978-0-470-06064-3

File Type: pdf

File Size:  2 MB

Language: English

Description of Cryptology Unlocked

In Cryptology Unlocked book “Cryptology”—the science of secret writing—is peculiarly fascinating. Its vocabulary alone reminds you of crime thrillers rather than of science: radio reconnaissance, invisible ink, encrypted message exchange, ciphertext attack... This fascination begins probably rather early in our lives. I once watched my older son as he zestfully tried to decipher some secret writing in a children’s puzzle magazine. When I was a kid I experimented with the legendary invisible ink made of salt solution or lemon juice (which never worked, because as I heated it up the paper would always char instead of magically revealing the secret writing). When my dad later told me about his method for encrypting radio traffic (Section 2.3), I was thrilled and had a dim feeling that there’s got to be a bunch of mathematics behind it. I simply couldn’t imagine that anybody could ever be able to read such ciphers without knowing the key. 

And with so many keys around—no way anybody could try them all out! My next encounter with cryptology happened two decades later. Long after my math studies, I had access to a PDP11 computer and experienced for the first time that computers can be there for people rather than the other way round. I began to test an encryption algorithm I invented on this computer and thought it to be bomb-proof—as always when you don’t have enough background knowledge. Ten years later, I further developed this algorithm, studied it to the best of my knowledge, and published it in the German UNIX Magazine. The lively readers’ response took me by surprise.
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