Author Archives: sareennl

Understanding the Enigma

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is an interesting and informative novel tying together different generations of cryptography.   A passage I found most interesting was in the chapter ‘Cycles’.  In this chapter, Stephenson expands on the fundamental mathematics behind the Enigma machine: … Continue reading Continue reading

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Should Unlimited Security be Limited?

When the Data Encryption Standard (DES) was created, the National Security Agency made sure that it was weak enough that they could break it.  The Data Encryption Standard was a result of Horst Feistel’s product, Lucifer.  Lucifer was a machine … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Costs of Privacy

Cary Doctorow’s Little Brother tells the story of Marcus Yallow, a high school student who rebels against the Department ofHomeland Security for violating his rights to privacy.  Marcus goes to the extent of creating a new secure Internet, hacking transportation … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Motivation of Mystery

The Beale Ciphers have challenged thousands of cryptanalysts for the past hundred years.  The Beale Ciphers consist of three ciphers and are seemingly unbreakable.  While most professionals would give up after several unsuccessful attempts, people still continue to try and … Continue reading Continue reading

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A Great Deal of Creativity

As cryptographers attempted to improve the security of ciphers, while maintaining their practicality, more complex ciphers were being created.  The monoalphabetic substitution cipher was becoming less secure, leading to the advent of the polyalphabetic cipher and the homophonic cipher.  Yet, … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Accessibility of Knowledge

In Simon Singh’s The Code Book, he states “Cryptanalysis could not be invented until a civilization has reached a sufficiently sophisticated level of scholarship.”  If such a sophisticated level of scholarship was needed to invent cryptanalysis, and cryptanalysts were considered … Continue reading Continue reading

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