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So you want to be a cryptanalyst…

Posted 10/15/21 by Hannah M

“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:

Cover of The woman who smashed codes: a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies

The woman who smashed codes: a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies

eBook   |   eAudiobook

The woman who smashed codes: a true story of love, spies, and the unlikely heroine who outwitted America's enemies

eBook   |   eAudiobook
Cover of Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of World War II

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of World War II

eAudiobook

Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of World War II

eAudiobook
Cover of Code girls : the untold story of the American women code breakers of World War II

Code girls : the untold story of the American women code breakers of World War II

eAudiobook

Code girls : the untold story of the American women code breakers of World War II

eAudiobook

Cryptography for Young Learners:

Cover of Top secret: a handbook of codes, ciphers, and secret writing

Top secret: a handbook of codes, ciphers, and secret writing

Top secret: a handbook of codes, ciphers, and secret writing

Cover of Code cracking for kids : secret communications throughout history, with 21 codes and ciphers

Code cracking for kids : secret communications throughout history, with 21 codes and ciphers

Code cracking for kids : secret communications throughout history, with 21 codes and ciphers

Cover of Enigma: A Magical Mystery

Enigma: A Magical Mystery

Enigma: A Magical Mystery

From Past to Present:

Cover of The Code Book: The Science and Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book: The Science and Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

The Code Book: The Science and Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

Cover of The Friar and the cipher : Roger Bacon and the unsolved mystery of the most unusual manuscript in the world

The Friar and the cipher : Roger Bacon and the unsolved mystery of the most unusual manuscript in the world

The Friar and the cipher : Roger Bacon and the unsolved mystery of the most unusual manuscript in the world

Cover of Hacked: The Inside Story of America’s Struggle to Secure Cyberspace by Charlie Mitchell

Hacked: The Inside Story of America’s Struggle to Secure Cyberspace by Charlie Mitchell

Hacked: The Inside Story of America’s Struggle to Secure Cyberspace by Charlie Mitchell

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