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Code Book by Simon Singh

Code Book (edition 2000)

by Simon Singh

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4,507661,536 (4.16)70
Title:Code Book
Authors:Simon Singh
Info:Harpercollins Pb (2000), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Cryptography, Security

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The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh (Author)


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English (60)  Yiddish (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
How codes work from Ancient Egypt through 2000. Anecdotes about codes and code breakers. ( )
  jefware | Mar 10, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this venture into the history of cryptography and cryptanalysis and the race between the code-makers and the code-breakers. There's a lot of history and some neat stories along the way. Although the last chapters about encryption and privacy were a little more complicated, I would recommend Singh's book to anyone interested in the subject. Singh was writing nearly 20 years ago, but the debate between those who are for complete privacy and various agencies like NSA and the FBI are ongoing.
  hailelib | Feb 2, 2018 |
I tried to read Alan Turing: The Enigma by Hodges and it seemed to be much more of a biography than explaining the ww2 Enigma. This book was much quicker to read and left out details like the name of the boat Turing's parents took. The middle section (in The Code Book) on hieroglyphics seemed out of place and only included to fill space, it was even prefaced "a slight detour from the book's main theme." I thought the Navajo language used in ww2 was really interesting and the explanation of the RSA encryption, the explanation of Enigma sufficed. The book may be a bit dated-a few events from the late 1990s are are described then "by the time you read this there will have been several more twists and turns in the debate on cryptographic policy." Either way, I thought the author explained all the math/science really well. ( )
  mtdewrock | Dec 30, 2017 |
This book was written in 1999, so the information is a little dated. There is no mention of AES, lattices, or elliptic curves, but the information the book does cover is substantial. The author describes the cryptanalytic process for each cipher discussed in detail, even going pretty deep into quantum cryptography, for which he explain's Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, superposition, and photon spins.

There is a full section on linguistics and the deciphering of hieroglyphics and Linear B, as well as overviews of the lives of dozens of cryptographers and cryptanalysts like Alan Turing, Martin Hellman, and Whitfield Diffie. ( )
  JFloppyz | Mar 5, 2017 |
Humpty Dumpty: "The Code Book - The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography" by Simon Singh

“[ ] One-way functions are sometimes called Humpty Dumpty functions. Modular arithmetic, sometimes called clock arithmetic in schools, is an area of mathematics that is rich in one-way functions. In modular arithmetic, mathematicians consider a finite group of numbers arranged in a loop [ ].”

The two greatest hazards of the internet are pornography and security. I have no idea how this is so, or how these myths have become so dominant in our collective consciousness. In fact is that quality pornography is available from the bookshops (so I’ve been told…), and the internet is fundamentally more secure than the world it’s replacing. There’s only one catch: one should not be stupid!

Many Internet services are in it just for the money, i.e., they sell data they collect about us customers and users. This applies both to information I post intentionally and also to the hidden parts of my information footprint. Even paid apps and services often collect data about me; it’s not a question of paying more money; even if you pay more there’s no guarantee that service in question isn’t also profiting indirectly by selling my data. Most of the time what happens is even worse: the data is sold to other 3rd-party services that aggregate data from many primary sources, making it even more valuable. My information may be innocuous or just annoying, for example, which online ads I usually see, but in the worst-case scenario, digital information can be used against me. Data from cell phones, email accounts, computer hard drives, and other sources can be used by others (sigh). The history of Cryptography has always been a struggle between the code makers, and the code breakers, with sometimes one and sometimes the other having the ascendancy. In today’s society, I think the code breakers are getting the upper hand…

The rest of this review can be found on my blog. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Singh, SimonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coqueret, CatherineTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fritz, KlausTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bridge, AndyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brogren, MargaretaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flothuis, MeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The urge to discover secrets is deeply ingrained in human nature; even the least curious mind is roused by the promise of sharing knowledge withheld from others. Some are fortunate enough to find a job which consists in the solution of mysteries, but most of us are driven to sublimate this urge by the solving of artificial puzzles devised for our entertainment. Detective stories or crossword puzzles cater for the majority; the solution of secret codes may be the pursuit of a few.
John Chadwick
The Decipherment of Linear B
For my mother and father, Sawaran Kaur and Mehnga Singh
First words
On the morning of Wednesday, 15 October 1586, Queen Mary entered the crowded courtroom at Fotheringhay Castle.
수천 년간 왕과 여왕, 장군들은 나라를 다스리고 군대를 지휘하기 위해 효율적인 통신수단이 필요했다.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Code Book: How to Make It, Break It, Hack It, Crack It is not the same as the original Simon Singh book. It was significantly revised for younger readers.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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A history of
cryptology from Caesar
to the modern day.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385495323, Paperback)

People love secrets. Ever since the first word was written, humans have sent coded messages to each other. In The Code Book, Simon Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, offers a peek into the world of cryptography and codes, from ancient texts through computer encryption. Singh's compelling history is woven through with stories of how codes and ciphers have played a vital role in warfare, politics, and royal intrigue. The major theme of The Code Book is what Singh calls "the ongoing evolutionary battle between codemakers and codebreakers," never more clear than in the chapters devoted to World War II. Cryptography came of age during that conflict, as secret communications became critical to both sides' success.

Confronted with the prospect of defeat, the Allied cryptanalysts had worked night and day to penetrate German ciphers. It would appear that fear was the main driving force, and that adversity is one of the foundations of successful codebreaking.

In the information age, the fear that drives cryptographic improvements is both capitalistic and libertarian--corporations need encryption to ensure that their secrets don't fall into the hands of competitors and regulators, and ordinary people need encryption to keep their everyday communications private in a free society. Similarly, the battles for greater decryption power come from said competitors and governments wary of insurrection.

The Code Book is an excellent primer for those wishing to understand how the human need for privacy has manifested itself through cryptography. Singh's accessible style and clear explanations of complex algorithms cut through the arcane mathematical details without oversimplifying. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Discusses the evolution of codes and their impact on history, and investigates the relevance of encryption for modern society.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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