“Your password has been found in a data breach”: an alert no one wants to see, but one that we see each time a site’s encryption is compromised (or worse, when a site foregoes encryption, and stores its users’ passwords in plain text.) Encryption may seem like a modern-day topic, but the art and science of concealing written information dates back more than 4,000 years ago! Celebrate Global Encryption Day on Oct. 21 by learning the history of cryptography with the following reads, from historical accounts to how-to guides.
Read about the code breakers and codes talkers of WWII who changed the course of the war in The Woman who Smashed Codes, Code Talker, or Code Girls.
Learn a brief history (with examples!) of ciphers in Singh’s The Code Book, a staple in the cryptography community that teaches everything from caesar shifts to vigeneres, from playfairs to one-time pads.
Discover the mystery and mysticism of the Voynich manuscript in The Friar and the Cipher.
Are you a young reader with an interest in solving puzzles? Learn how to write secret notes in Top Secret, Code Cracking for Kids, and Enigma.
Feeling ready for a puzzle challenge after your reads? Enter the 2021 National Cipher Challenge put on by the University of Southampton, open to individuals and teams of all ages!
Codes in WWII: