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Thread: Cryptography where do I start?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Cryptography where do I start?

    Well I have always been interested in Cryptography. I have a few questions....

    1. Where do I get started learning cyrptography besides books as I am tight on cash atm?

    2. What kinds of maths are involved in cryptography?

    The main reason I want to learn about cryptography is because it has always interested me and I would like to learn to decrypt encypted messages.

    I wonder if it helps that I like to do those cryptograms in the newspapers lol.

    Btw I also have a strong programming background if that helps.

    Also I have been using google but I am not quite sure I am getting the maximum results I should be getting.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    well google is a good way to start allways.
    here is a link you will find helpfull
    their is a lot of reading material on this page to get you learning it also has a good explaination of RSA that you should read.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Wow lots of information on that page. Much more then what I found. Actually one of the sites I found is linked on this website. Thanks a bunch.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    You're proably going to want to make a simple program, that rotates all the letters X positions, or somthing simmilar. Then you can work up to more complex code. has some information too.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    dude u have to read books as you are a newbie i suggest u to read william stallings book Cryptography is not only about mathematics only and cryptanalysis is not as easy as shown in movies.because encryption being used now a days are much complex and involve large number of stages.
    so in order to be a expert u need through knowledge of encryption scheme.
    nobody is perfect i am nobody

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    General readers

    Cryptography[1] is an interesting topic, the question is how
    deep do you want to dive into it. If you want to satisfy
    your curiosity on a playful level, the best thing is to
    look at some easy-readers, as [2,3] and apply your knowledge
    on newspapers and/or [3,4].

    If you really want to follow a scientific approach to cryptography,
    one of Riots links links to the free e-book by Menezes et el.[5],
    which I can recommend as a starting point.


    From a mathematical point of view, crytography starts with functions
    and their domain and codomain space. Usually, only a subset of all
    functions are used (the invertible ones), which simplifies the mathe-
    matical description. This functional analysis can be as complicated as
    you wish (Riemann Zeta functions, Lee-Yang (?), Elliptical curve cryptography, ...),
    still the mathematical tools are the same.

    Interdisciplinary and Enigma

    Cryptography draws aspects from a lot of additional fields, like discrete
    mathematics, number theory, statistics, combinatorics in addition with
    linguistics, information theory and complexity theory ("computationally feasible
    to solve"). All ingredients are substantially crucial in order to decrypt an
    encrypted messsage. E.g. the polish mathematicians around 1938 wouldn't have
    been able to decrypt the Enigma[6] messages, without knowing german, without
    knowing the typical structure of military intelligence and without having
    a pre-computer ("clock", later "bomba" (badly translated as "bombe")),
    even though they had a copy of the Enigma machine.


    You need to remember that encryption techniques used nowadays are simple
    in its description from a mathematical point of view. Their security is
    based on a immensely huge key-space, that cannot be simply reduced based
    on the intrinsics (eg. products of prime numbers). To do serious work on
    that requires knowledge on the level of a PhD in mathematics. Keep this
    in mind.
    Doing cryptography (or more accurate: Decryption of encrypted message on
    a playful level) requires a smart head, good ideas and a lot of persistence!
    By reading [5], you will quickly recognize which type you prefer. Have in
    mind, that [5] really is just the very basics, compared to the state-of-the-art
    cryptography that is done, e.g. in a military environment.


    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    (Abraham Maslow, Psychologist, 1908-70)

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Well thank you very much. I am getting very good answers. And Yes this is only playful decryption and stuff. I am a CIS major in college and I can't imagine getting a PHD in math lol. I think I would kill my self before I made a living off of that kind of stuff.

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