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og r a p h y

C r y p t
Presented by Bolor Arcon Bawalan Merin Shebab
History of
BEGINNINGS Cuneiforms Writing

As far back as 2,000BC the Egyptians were using complex and cryptic systems of hieroglyphics to decorate tombs, not so
much in order to conceal the meaning as to make their dead nobles more enigmatic
The Mesopotamians encrypted cuneiform text to hide information, while the Hebrews of the 5th century BC used simple Scytale
ciphers, substituting the last letter of the alphabet for the first, the penultimate for the second, and all the way down the
The Spartans of the same era came up with an ingenuous system, writing messages on thin sheets of papyrus, wrapped
around a baton or “scytale”. The sheet would be unwrapped, encrypting the message, and it could only be decrypted when
wrapped once more around a scytale of the same diameter. This enabled the Spartans to send and receive secret military
plans in confidence.
In the second century BC, the Greek scholar Polybius laid out the alphabet in a grid of five by five squares, then
prescribed using torches or hand signals to relay encrypted messages, coordinate by coordinate.
Caesar Cipher

Julius Caesar had his own cipher, shifting each letter in a message two places further down the alphabet.

The great pioneer of cryptoanalaysis – the study and breaking of encryption – was the Arab polymath al-Kindi, who in
the 9th century AD applied scientific methods, using the frequency with which letters are used in a language as a means of
breaking down the cipher
Italy in the 15th century was one of history’s great hotbeds of intrigue, as different Italian city states vied for power. The courts of Rome,
Florence and Milan made extensive use of cryptography, while Venice had its own secretaries trained to encrypt and decrypt messages
passing to and from the Doge.
Genoa-born Florentine, Leon Battista Alberti, developed a system of polyalphabetic substatiation using two copper discs, each one
bearing the alphabet.
In 1518, the German monk Trimethius introduced a complex cryptographic table, the Tabula Recta, which was expanded by an Italian
cryptologist, Giovan Battista Bellaso, and subsequently a French diplomat, Balise de Vigenere.
In 1628, Henri, Prince of Conde laid siege to the Hugenot city of Realmont in Southern France. A coded message from the besieged city
was intercepted and deciphered by a local mathematician, Antoine Rossignol, revealing the Hugenots’ lack of ammunition. The subsequent
surrender caught the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who brought Rossignol into the service of Louis XIV. There, Rossignol and this son
developed a new code known as the Grand Cipher and ran a code breaking agency, the Cabinet Noir.
Leon Battista Alberti

The Father of Western

Cryptography was to play a crucial part in the Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815.
Embarrassed by the number of communications being intercepted by British forces, Napoleon asked the French army to create a new,
unbreakable code, known as the Army of Portugal Code.
The code was broken in November by an English officer, Major George Scovell – in just two days, armed only with a guide to cryptography
and a handful of captured messages.
The French responded in early 1812 with a new code, the Great Paris Cipher, with over 1,400 numbers that could substitute for words or
parts of words in millions of permutations.

George Scovell
Great Paris Cipher
With the end of the First World War, however, cryptography entered the machine age.
In 1915, two Dutch naval officers created a mechanised rotor-based system, and by 1919 similar systems had been
demonstrated in the US by Huge Hebern, in Holland by Hugo Koch and in Germany by Arthur Scherbius. Scherbius’s
machine, demonstrated in Bern in 1923, was adopted by the German Navy in 1926 and by the German Army in 1928. Enigma.
Scherbius called it Enigma.
During the Second World War, however, it became absolutely critical. Isolated from Nazi-occupied Europe, Britain was
dependent on Atlantic convoys under constant threat from German U-Boats. The U-Boats worked individually but, on
finding a convoy, made contact with other U-Boats, using radio to set-up highly coordinated attacks. These messages
were enciphered by the German Navy’s Enigma machines, so breaking Enigma became a matter of survival.
At Bletchley Park in England, Alan Turing and Gordon Weichman did substantial work on the Polish Bomba and created a
new version: a code breaking machine that could work out the set of rotors in use for a day and their positions from a crib - Collosus
a section of plain text believed to correspond to the intercepted ciphertext. Meanwhile, Turing, Max Newman and Tommy
Flowers created Colossus – the world’s first programmable electronic digital computer –


The arrival of the computer and the use of computers to store sensitive information created new challenges for cryptography.
Computing enabled organisations to store, secure and analyse data more efficiently, but it also empowered new approaches to breaking
Asymmetric key
In 1949, Claude Shannon’s paper, Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems, established a basic theory for maths-based cryptography
in a computer age.
n 1976, Whitfield Diffie and Marti Hellman introduced the concepts of asymmetric key encryption and the public key. This idea was
revolutionary: a system that used not one key to encrypt and decrypt, but two pairs of mathematically-related keys, each of which could
decrypt messages encrypted by the other.
Governments demanded new levels of security. In 1979, IBM, with input from the NSA, developed the Data Encryption Standard (DES)
– a cutting-edge 56-bit encryption standard that was so advanced that even supercomputers couldn’t crack it.
Concerns in
We can have the best MANAGEMENT We can have the best crypto in
cryptography in the universe but if Many crypto-systems lump many the universe, but if the entity you
it is difficult for humans to use, security assumptions onto key are communicating with is
then it is next to useless. At the management i.e. "if you keep your untrustworthy or even just
moment software like TextSecure keys safe everything should be incompetent, we are at risk.
are making the instant messaging fine" - this is related to the
usecase simpler. End to end password management issue - how
encrypted email still has a long do  we make it easy for a user to
way to go though. access their crypto keys (and easy
to rotate/replace their crypto keys)
but make it very difficult for an
attacker to do so.
Uses of Cryptography