Category Archives: The Code Book

Nothing to Hide

Chapter one of Simon Singh’s The Code Book begins with two stories. The first one is about Mary Queen of Scots and the second one is about Demaratus, an exiled Greek who nevertheless worked to communicate secretly with his homeland. While both of their stories were told to establish a theme of secret writing, the […] Continue reading

Posted in cryptography, steganography, Student Posts, The Code Book | Comments Off on Nothing to Hide

Pretty Good Predictions

Before even seeing this question, I already had something to say about the predictions that Singh made in this paragraph. The one that stood out to me was that democracies will be using online voting. I found this funny because 20 years from the writing of this book, online voting still doesn’t exist, and the […] Continue reading

Posted in Encryption, online voting, Student Posts, The Code Book | Comments Off on Pretty Good Predictions

Why Some Intel Should Remain Secret

Prior to the publication of Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis and the British Royal Navy’s official history of the First World War in 1923, the Germans were completely oblivious to the fact that their encryption system had been compromised.  Since Admiral Hall managed to make it seem as though the unencrypted version of the Zimmermann Telegram […] Continue reading

Posted in enigma, secrecy, Student Posts, The Code Book | Comments Off on Why Some Intel Should Remain Secret

Solving an Encryption is Easier Said than Done

I believe that the examples in the book would be harder to decipher when no assistance is given. It would be hard to decipher the message while not knowing what type of cipher it is. Telling the readers what kind of code the message is encrypted as gives a hint in how to solve it. […] Continue reading

Posted in decipher, Encryption, Student Posts, The Code Book | Comments Off on Solving an Encryption is Easier Said than Done

Breaking Codes Is Much More Difficult In Practice

In Chapter 3, Singh provides an example of breaking codes with keywords and makes everything seems quite easy. However, in practice, breaking such a code is definitely difficult and needs a lot of time and work. Say you have a message which is enciphered by using a keyword as long as the plaintext. The first thing is […] Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 3, cryptography, Student Posts, The Code Book | Comments Off on Breaking Codes Is Much More Difficult In Practice

The Cipher That Survived for 200 Years

The Great Cipher of King Louis XIV was an enhanced monoalphabetic substitution cipher that managed to remain unsolved for over two centuries.  It was developed by the father-and-son team of Antoine and Bonaventure Rossignol, two of the best cryptanalysts in France.  King Louis XIV used it to securely encrypt sensitive information regarding his political plans.  […] Continue reading

Posted in King Louis XIV, Student Posts, The Code Book, The Great Cipher | Comments Off on The Cipher That Survived for 200 Years

Why People Start to Concern Their Encrypted Message to be Deciphered

In the time of the Mary Queen of Scots, people were confident with their encrypted messages and did not concern the privacy of their messages. However, for some time after that, people started to find a way to create more and more complicated ciphers, for the reason that they realized there are experts who could […] Continue reading

Posted in Chapter 2, privacy, Student Posts, The Code Book | Comments Off on Why People Start to Concern Their Encrypted Message to be Deciphered

The Problem with Weak Encryption

In Chapter 1 of The Code Book, author Simon Singh states, “The cipher of Mary Queen of Scots clearly demonstrates that a weak encryption can be worse than no encryption at all.”  What this essentially means is that overconfidence with a cipher, especially a relatively weak one, can be dangerous in that it creates an illusion […] Continue reading

Posted in privacy, security, Singh, Student Posts, The Code Book, weak cryptography | Comments Off on The Problem with Weak Encryption

The Dangers of Weak Cryptography

For one who is not well-versed in “cryptography,” hearing the word might simply bring to mind the language game Pig Latin. However, Singh is trying to convey, in layman’s terms, that cryptography is not a child’s game for all; in Mary Queen of Scots’ case, it was literally an instance of life or death. The […] Continue reading

Posted in amateur cryptography, cryptanalysis, security, Singh, Student Posts, The Code Book, weak cryptography | Comments Off on The Dangers of Weak Cryptography

The Dangers of Weak Cryptography

For one who is not well-versed in “cryptography,” hearing the word might simply bring to mind the language game Pig Latin. However, Singh is trying to convey, in layman’s terms, that cryptography is not a child’s game for all; in Mary Queen of Scots’ case, it was literally an instance of life or death. The […] Continue reading

Posted in amateur cryptography, cryptanalysis, security, Singh, Student Posts, The Code Book, weak cryptography | Comments Off on The Dangers of Weak Cryptography