This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The History Of Cryptography Essay

2055 words - 9 pages

Cryptography is the use of codes and ciphers to protect secrets and has been around for centuries. It has its beginnings in ancient Egypt and has played a role in every part of history to its current role in protecting communications across today’s computer networks.
In classical times cryptology was not as sophisticated as it is today, but it had its uses for that time in history. The early Greeks used what was called the Scytale Cipher. It was used between the Greek and Spartan armies and was very popular for its ease of use and the ability to translate a message. (“The Scytale Cipher”, n. d.)
The Scytale cipher is known as a transposition cipher and works by taking a roll of paper or leather, in the case of the Greeks, and wrapping it around a cylinder. The user then proceeds to write the message across the cylinder by placing a letter on each wrap of the paper. This continues until the message is complete. Once complete the paper is unwrapped and the encryption is complete. In order to be decrypted at the other end all that is needed is a cylinder of the same size. (“The Scytale Cipher”, n. d.)
The Romans also used ciphers, most notably the Caesar Cipher. The Caesar Cipher is typically a wheel device with an inner and outer wheel both printed with the alphabet. The Caesar cipher works by substituting a letter of the alphabet with another letter three positions down. This is one of the easiest codes to break since there are only 25 possible solutions. (“Caesar Cipher History”, n. d.)
One of the most significant discoveries of the use of cryptography in ancient times was the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 by Napoleon’s army while digging fortifications while stranded in ancient Egypt. The stone told of an agreement between Egyptian priests and the pharaoh that occurred on March 27, 196 B. C. The significance of the message was that it was written in three languages - Greek, demotic and hieroglyphics. This provided the key for historians to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs which, at this time, was considered a dead language for over 1500 years. (“History of the Rosetta Stone”, 2014)
During the medieval times the Arabs made significant advances in cryptography and cryptanalysis. The most significant of these was the introduction of the Frequency Analysis technique around 800 AD. This was considered one of the greatest advances in cryptanalysis until the beginning of WWII. (“Medieval Cryptography”, 2014)
Frequency Analysis works on the assumption that in any language certain letters appear with more frequency then others. For example E, T, A, I, O, N, S, H, R, D, L, U are the most common letters used in the English language. In addition to those TH, ER, ON and AN are the most common pairs and SS, EE, TT and FF are the most common repeats. Taking all of that into consideration any monoalphabetic (one alphabet) cipher can be broken by looking for the frequency by which some letters appear and substituting one of...

Find Another Essay On The History of Cryptography

On the development of Quantum Computers and Cryptography

1526 words - 7 pages On the Development of Quantum Computers and Cryptography In 2010, the United States government, after accessing encrypted files by means of physical intervention, exposed ten Russian sleeper agents; in 2013, the United States government, without any means of physical intervention, surreptitiously collected and promptly decrypted many previously encrypted (Wood). Within this decade, concerns regarding the dubious security of

Privacy - What about it? ... A comprehensive and easy to understand overview of public key cryptography and the main tool to apply it: Pretty Good Privacy

5283 words - 21 pages through the process of generating a new key pair. Although you probably realized that these keys have some importance, you might not realize that these keys are the ins and outs of PGP.You generate a key-pair; a private and a public key. The private key you must absolutely keep to yourself, but the public key is just what its name applies; public! This scheme sound somewhat strange - I mean, the whole idea of cryptography and exncryption would be


602 words - 2 pages ) Conclusively, cryptology has bolstered secret communications for centuries, enabling people to interact without being understood by their opponents and never ceases to develop.A four-rotor German Enigma cipher machine made during WW2REFERENCES"Cryptology."The Encyclopedia Americana. 2002. PrintStinson, Douglas.Cryptography: Theory and Practice. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1995. PrintCohen, Fred. A Short History of Cryptography. 1995. PrintRussell, Francis. The


779 words - 3 pages watermark without degrading the quality of the object. Although both steganography and watermarking are two different types of technology, they are both used for protecting valuable information. It is from these two techniques that other technologies emerged for protecting data to overcome whatever weaknesses these two technologies had. 2.3 History of cryptography Cryptography dates back to 4000 years ago where it was used in Egypt in the Greek


681 words - 3 pages information from the eyes of unwelcome parties. This has created a need for cryptography. Cryptography is the science or study of the techniques of secret writing, especially code and cipher systems, and is used by everyone from the average citizen to the government and military. Cryptography was first used long before the invention of computers. One well-known system was attributed to the reign of Julius Caesar (Klein ix). Another example is the famous


1248 words - 5 pages remember words as their passwordsPLAINTEXT ONLY ATTACKPLAINTEXT ONLY ATTACKS ARE WHERE THE PLAINTEXT IS KNOWN AND IT CIPHERED VERSION AND YOU TRY TO FIND THE KEYFREQUENCY TABLESwith single key cryptography usually some part of the original plaintext structure remainsfor example with monoalphabetic substitution where plaintext letters are always replaced by different but always the same letters in the ciphertext ex. E will always be W in the ciphertext

The history of black history

755 words - 4 pages The History on Black History month When I think of the African American culture, I think of warmth and vitality: I think of soul, but I also think of strength and endurance. It has been these qualities given by the most high God to the human mind, body and spirit that to me have presumably characterized a great deal of the African American race in being brought and established here within the United States of America. Therefore, as also to be

The Landscape of History

1627 words - 7 pages In The Landscape of History, John Lewis Gaddis makes a cohesive argument concerning about the debate over the objectivity of truth by stating “objectivity as a consequence is hardly possible, and that there is, therefore, no such thing as truth (Gaddis 29). The question for objective history has long been debated by numerous historians, and the differing viewpoints of history have led to a transition in our ways of thinking in the modern world

The Study of History

2434 words - 10 pages The knowledge, varied approaches, concepts, and methods of collecting evidence and interpreting the past are essential to the study of history. These approaches are not static; they evolve as society and culture evolves, and evolution of approaches and methodology is vital to the continued study of history. The tradition of cataloging and referencing is the foundation of traditional history and this is their legacy to the modern practice.The new

The Importance of History

563 words - 2 pages The Importance of History Can anything worthwhile be gained from continued research into historical events? History seen as study of the past is an integral part of many education systems across the world. Many countries spend huge amounts of money and resources to uncover their past. Every year new and new historical sites are uncovered, excavations on those sites are conducted and the result are studied by archeologists throughout the world

The Dustbin Of History

876 words - 4 pages the idea of what history is really meant to be. But sometime the sources that we were looking at can be false, which mean the information is consider as inaccurate, because it’s already a past and we cannot prove if the fact is actual or not. History is what was shape by us, we are the one who form it in every angle way.One of Greil Marcus quote that does really catch my attention is when he discusses about watching a drama and commercial on

Similar Essays

The History And Applications Of Cryptography

1612 words - 7 pages Cryptography is the study of secure or secret communications. Cryptography has been around for thousands of years. Cryptography has been around for thousands of years. Cryptography deals with authentication, confidentiality, and integrity of data. There are many different implementations of cryptography in information systems. This paper will cover hashing, encryption, digital signatures, and digital certificates. Cryptography dates back

A Brief History Of Cryptography Essay

2335 words - 9 pages from the eyes of unwelcome parties. This has created a need for cryptography. Cryptography is the science or study of the techniques of secret writing, especially code and cipher systems, and is used by everyone from the average citizen to the government and military. Cryptography was first used long before the invention of computers. One well-known system was attributed to the reign of Julius Caesar (Klein ix). Another example is the famous

The History Of Cryptography And How It Is Used Today

1438 words - 6 pages , 2014). Not so anymore. Vulnerabilities due to the bug have now gone beyond websites to networking devices. Cisco and Juniper, two very popular networking equipment manufacturers, are investigating many of their routers, software and video teleconferencing devices for the bug (Fitzpatrick, 2014). Cryptography has had a long history, dating back thousands of years. It is anybody’s guess as to where it will go. However, one thing is certain

Cryptography And The Issue Of Internet Security

937 words - 4 pages High level encryption or cryptography is used in a number of applications ranging from those which impact national security to those which are more mundane. Essentially, cryptography is the methodology of encoding information so that one’s privacy is ensured. This is particularly important when it comes to transactions which occur over the Internet. The risk of individuals gaining access to personal information or information which is critical