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Codebreaker: The HiStory of Codes and Ciphers, from the Ancient Pharaohs to Quantum Cryptography.

CODEBREAKER: The HiStory of Codes and Ciphers, from the Ancient Pharaohs to Quantum Cryptography

STEPHEN PINCOCK

Since the early clays of written symbols, scribes have used encryption for amusement as well as for concealment. Pincock details the history of ciphers, codes, and code breaking. Shortly after the year 750, Muslim scholars realized that in any language, letters appear with regular frequency and that analysis based on that fact could crack ciphers. Pincock details historic events that were affected by the use of codes, including Mary Queen of Scots' encrypted messages to Queen Elizabeth's would-be assassins and the cracking of the famous Enigma ciphers during World War II. Pincock also details still-unbroken codes, including that of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript and that used by a serial killer in California during the 1960s and "70s. The modern world, he notes, has an increasing reliance on cryptolagy for protecting information sent digitally. Walker, 2006, 176 p., color photos, hardcover, $19.95.
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Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 14, 2006
Words:158
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