Secret History : The Story of Cryptology book cover
1st Edition

Secret History
The Story of Cryptology

ISBN 9781138061231
Published April 20, 2021 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
640 Pages 250 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The first edition of this award-winning book attracted a wide audience. This second edition is both a joy to read and a useful classroom tool. Unlike traditional textbooks, it requires no mathematical prerequisites and can be read around the mathematics presented. If used as a textbook, the mathematics can be prioritized, with a book both students and instructors will enjoy reading.

Secret History: The Story of Cryptology, Second Edition incorporates new material concerning various eras in the long history of cryptology. Much has happened concerning the political aspects of cryptology since the first edition appeared. The still unfolding story is updated here.

The first edition of this book contained chapters devoted to the cracking of German and Japanese systems during World War II. Now the other side of this cipher war is also told, that is, how the United States was able to come up with systems that were never broken.

The text is in two parts. Part I presents classic cryptology from ancient times through World War II. Part II examines modern computer cryptology. With numerous real-world examples and extensive references, the author skillfully balances the history with mathematical details, providing readers with a sound foundation in this dynamic field.


  • Presents a chronological development of key concepts
  • Includes the Vigenère cipher, the one-time pad, transposition ciphers, Jefferson’s wheel cipher, Playfair cipher, ADFGX, matrix encryption, Enigma, Purple, and other classic methods
  • Looks at the work of Claude Shannon, the origin of the National Security Agency, elliptic curve cryptography, the Data Encryption Standard, the Advanced Encryption Standard, public-key cryptography, and many other topics
  • New chapters detail SIGABA and SIGSALY, successful systems used during World War II for text and speech, respectively
  • Includes quantum cryptography and the impact of quantum computers

Table of Contents

Part I: Classical Cryptology

1. Monoalphabetic Substitution Ciphers, or MASCs: Disguises for Messages

2. Simple Progression to an Unbreakable Cipher

3. Transposition Ciphers

4. Shakespeare, Jefferson, and JFK

5. World War I and Herbert O. Yardley

6. Matrix Encryption

7. World War II: The Enigma of Germany

8. Cryptologic War against Japan

9. SIGABA: World War II Defense

10. Enciphering Speech

Part II: Modern Cryptology

11. Claude Shannon

12. National Security Agency

13. The Data Encryption Standard

14. The Birth of Public Key Cryptography

15. Attacking RSA

16. Primality Testing and Complexity Theory

17. Authenticity

18. Pretty Good Privacy and Bad Politics

19. Stream Ciphers

20. Suite B All-Stars

21. Toward Tomorrow

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Craig P. Bauer is an associate professor of mathematics at York College of Pennsylvania and the editor-in-chief of Cryptologia. He was the 2011-2012 Scholar-in-Residence at the National Security Agency (NSA) Center for Cryptologic History, where he wrote several papers for NSA journals, gave numerous lectures, and made substantial progress on a second book focused on unsolved codes and ciphers. He earned a PhD in mathematics at North Carolina State University.