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

Secret History
The Story of Cryptology

ISBN 9781466561861
Published March 25, 2013 by Chapman & Hall
620 Pages 198 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $18.99
was $94.95
USD $75.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Winner of an Outstanding Academic Title Award from CHOICE Magazine

Most available cryptology books primarily focus on either mathematics or history. Breaking this mold, Secret History: The Story of Cryptology gives a thorough yet accessible treatment of both the mathematics and history of cryptology. Requiring minimal mathematical prerequisites, the book presents the mathematics in sufficient detail and weaves the history throughout the chapters. In addition to the fascinating historical and political sides of cryptology, the author—a former Scholar-in-Residence at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Center for Cryptologic History—includes interesting instances of codes and ciphers in crime, literature, music, and art.

Following a mainly chronological development of concepts, the book focuses on classical cryptology in the first part. It covers Greek and Viking cryptography, the Vigenère cipher, the one-time pad, transposition ciphers, Jefferson’s cipher wheel, the Playfair cipher, ADFGX, matrix encryption, World War II cipher systems (including a detailed examination of Enigma), and many other classical methods introduced before World War II.

The second part of the book examines modern cryptology. The author looks at the work of Claude Shannon and the origin and current status of the NSA, including some of its Suite B algorithms such as elliptic curve cryptography and the Advanced Encryption Standard. He also details the controversy that surrounded the Data Encryption Standard and the early years of public key cryptography. The book not only provides the how-to of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange and RSA algorithm, but also covers many attacks on the latter. Additionally, it discusses Elgamal, digital signatures, PGP, and stream ciphers and explores future directions such as quantum cryptography and DNA computing.

With numerous real-world examples and extensive references, this book skillfully balances the historical aspects of cryptology with its mathematical details. It provides readers with a sound foundation in this dynamic field.

Please visit Dr. Bauer's website, which provides access to exercise sets:

Table of Contents

Ancient Roots
Caveman Crypto
Greek Cryptography
Viking Cryptography
Early Steganography

Monalphabetic Substitution Ciphers, or MASCs: Disguises for Messages
Caesar Cipher
Other MASC Systems
Edgar Allen Poe
Arthur Conan Doyle
Frequency Analysis
Biblical Cryptology
More Frequencies and Pattern Words
Vowel Recognition Algorithms
More MASCs
Cryptanalysis of a MASC
Unsolved Ciphers by a Killer and a Composer
Affine Ciphers
Morse Code and Huffman Coding
MASC Miscellanea
Cryptanalysis of Nomenclators
Book Codes

Simple Progression to an Unbreakable Cipher
Vigenère Cipher
History of the Vigenère Cipher
Cryptanalysis of the Vigenère Cipher
Running Key Cipher and Its Cryptoanalysis
One-Time Pad or Vernam Cipher
Breaking the Unbreakable
Faking Randomness
Unsolved Cipher from 1915
OTPs and the SOE
History Rewritten!

Transposition Ciphers
Simple Rearrangements and Columnar Transposition
Cryptanalysis of Columnar Transposition
Historic Uses
Double Transposition
Word Transposition
Transposition Devices

Shakespeare, Jefferson, and JFK
Shakespeare vs. Bacon
Thomas Jefferson: President, Cryptographer
Cipher Wheel Cryptanalysis
Playfair Cipher
Playfair Cryptanalysis

World War I and Herbert O. Yardley

Zimmermann Telegram
ADFGX: A New Kind of Cipher
Cryptanalysis of ADFGX
Herbert O. Yardley
Peacetime Victory and a Tell-All Book
Case of the Seized Manuscript
Cashing in, Again
Herbert O. Yardley: Traitor

Matrix Encryption
Levine and Hill
How Matrix Encryption Works
Levine’s Attacks
Bauer and Millward’s Attack
More Stories Left to Tell

World War II: The Enigma of Germany
Rise of the Machines
How Enigma Works
Calculating the Keyspace
Cryptanalysis Part 1. Recovering the Rotor Wirings
Cryptanalysis Part 2. Recovering the Daily Keys
After the Break
Alan Turing and Bletchley Park
Lorenz Cipher and Colossus
What If Enigma Had Never Been Broken?
Endings and New Beginnings

Cryptologic War against Japan
Forewarning of Pearl Harbor?
Friedman’s Team Assembles
Cryptanalysis of Red, a Japanese Diplomatic Cipher
Purple: How It Works
Purple Cryptanalysis
Practical Magic
Code Talkers
Code Talkers in Hollywood
Use of Languages as Oral Codes

Claude Shannon

About Claude Shannon
One More Time
Unicity Points
Dazed and Confused

National Security Agency
Origins of NSA
Size and Budget
The Liberty and the Pueblo
Church Committee Investigations
Post Cold War Downsizing
Some Speculation
2000 and Beyond
Interviewing with NSA
BRUSA, UKUSA, and Echelon

Data Encryption Standard
How DES Works
Reactions to and Cryptanalysis of DES
Second Chance
Interesting Feature
Modes of Encryption

Birth of Public Key Cryptography
Revolutionary Cryptologist
Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange
RSA: Solution from MIT
Government Control of Cryptologic Research
RSA Patented, Alice and Bob Born Free

Attacking RSA
Eleven Non-Factoring Attacks
Factoring Challenge
Trial Division and the Sieve of Eratosthenes (ca. 284–204 BCE)
Fermat’s Factorization Method
Euler’s Factorization Method
Pollard’s p – 1 Algorithm
Dixon’s Algorithm
Pollard’s Number Field Sieve

Primality Testing and Complexity Theory
Some Facts about Primes
Fermat Test (1640)
Miller-Rabin Test
Deterministic Tests for Primality
Complexity Classes, P vs. NP, Probabilistic vs. Deterministic
Ralph Merkle’s Public Key Systems
Knapsack Encryption
ElGamal Encryption

Problem from World War II
Digital Signatures (and Some Attacks)
Hash Functions: Speeding Things Up
Digital Signature Algorithm

Pretty Good Privacy
Best of Both Worlds
Birth of PGP
In Zimmermann’s Own Words
Impact of PGP
Implementation Issues

Stream Ciphers
Congruential Generators
Linear Feedback Shift Registers
LFSR Attack
The Cellphone Stream Cipher A5/1

Suite B All-Stars
Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)
Personalities behind ECC
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
AES Attacks

Possible Futures
Quantum Cryptography: How It Works
Quantum Cryptography: Historical Background
DNA Computing


References and Further Reading appear at the end of each chapter.

View More



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 a large number of lectures, and made substantial progress on a second book focused on unsolved codes and ciphers. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from North Carolina State University.


"Secret History is a highly recommended purchase to be considered by those with a serious interest in both the history and the ‘nuts and bolts’ of modem-day codes and ciphers. lt is both a work of pedagogy, along with its various exercises linked to individual chapters accessible via a linked website, and an interesting and exciting ‘read’ for anyone with a serious interest in the subject of today’s cryptology and its history."
The Cryptogram, 2014

"The book presents a wonderful story of the development of this field. It is written more like a novel than like your traditional textbook, but it contains all the necessary material to also serve as a textbook. In fact, the author has created a companion website that provides sample syllabi and problems if the book is to be used in the classroom. … This book is enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the topic of cryptology. It is especially interesting to someone like me, an algebraist who uses cryptology as a meaningful response to why topics in pure mathematics that do not seem to have obvious applications are still very important to study."
MAA Reviews, August 2014

"Every once and a while a book appears that has a significant impact on the field of cryptologic history. David Kahn’s The Codebreakers and F.L. Bauer’s Decrypted Secrets are two such books. Secret History now joins that collection. … Secret History could be used as a textbook for a general education class that explores the history of cryptology (and ignores many of the mathematical sections) or for an upper-division class for mathematics or computer science majors that follows the historical evolution of cryptology (and pays attention to the mathematical sections). … What would appeal to a general audience is the engaging writing that reflects Bauer’s interest in and enthusiasm for all aspects of cryptology. … Bauer has merged cryptologic history with the mathematical foundations of cryptology in a correct, understandable, and enthusiastic presentation. Secret History is an excellent choice for a historian of cryptology, a teacher of cryptology, or anyone who wants to get a glimpse of cryptology."
—Chris Christensen, Cryptologia

"… fascinating read that provides a combination of cryptographic history and the underlying mathematics behind it. … For those looking for a comprehensive and decipherable text on the history of cryptography, this is one of the best on the topic in many years. Kahn’s book laid the groundwork that made a book like this possible and Secret History: The Story of Cryptology is a worthy follow-up to that legendary text."
—Ben Rothke,, 2013

"… one of the most engaging storytelling adventures on the evolution of secret keeping. In the first part of the book, Bauer (York College of Pennsylvania; formerly, scholar-in-residence, National Security Agency) discusses the inception of secret codes in Viking messages and substitution ciphers in the era of Caesar, as well as cryptography in works of fiction such as Edgar Allen Poe’s short story "The Gold Bug." Of course, Bauer also covers the famous Bletchley Park and its enigmatic star, Alan Turing. The second part focuses on current uses of cryptography and ends with a discussion of quantum cryptography. The book will challenge anyone with even a passing interest in cryptography to try to resist developing an intense passion for it. The math behind the systems described, while present, is never obscured by the fascinating setting in which it was developed. This is the way in which cryptography, one of the most difficult applications of discrete mathematics, was meant to be learned, with real-life cloak-and-dagger intrigue. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."
—T.D. Richardson, CHOICE, Vol. 51, 2013

"… looking at the table of contents it appears EXCELLENT. The field is covered thoroughly and comprehensively and in a very up-to-date manner. It is by far the clearest and most comprehensive of the books dealing with the new cryptology, including of course the classic ciphers and some of the important historical ones such as Enigma and Purple, but also the newer systems such as DES and public-key cryptography. The history seems accurate and the book provides what I was unable to give cryptology—a mathematical underpinning to it all. … All of us in the cryptology community are grateful to you for it."
—David Kahn, historian, and author of The Codebreakers

"There have been plenty of 'light reading' books covering the history and mechanics of cryptology - this isn't one of them. Most focus on light math concepts and/or history - this isn't one of them. Instead, it covers both but provides much more depth and detail, surveying the political side of cryptology's developments, the use of codes in crime, music and literature, and considering how classical cryptology grew from Greek to modern times. It provides close examination of the groundbreaking works of cryptologists and considers specific algorithms and their functions, and it provides charts, graphs and calculations to show exactly how cryptology works. Any with more than a casual interest in the topic will find this a solid reference."
—California Bookwatch, January 2014