Elementary Cryptanalysis (2nd ed.)
Abraham Sinkov revised and updated by Todd Feil
As a young mathematician, I learned how to make and break simple codes from Sinkov's beguiling introduction to cryptanalysis. In the intervening forty years there has been a revolution in cryptography, and it is fitting that for a modern edition of Sinkov's classic, Todd Feil has indicated the nature of this revolution by adding a lucid introduction to RSA public-key encryption and the number theory which underlies it. If you know a young code breaker who might become a young mathematician, buy her or him this book! Or buy it for yourself and try decoding those messages. — Phil Straffin, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Computer Science at Beloit College.
Sinkov's Elementary Cryptanalysis is an eminently readable classic that introduces the reader to both the techniques and the spirit of cryptanalysis — the art and science of reading secret messages. Todd Feil has done a fine job of modernizing the language of the original. His chapters on RSA encryption and one-time pads give added value to the original, especially the very nice treatment of RSA that assumes almost no prior knowledge of number theory. — Ezra Brown, Virginia Tech, Co-Editor of Biscuits of Number Theory
Originally published in the New Mathematical Library almost half a century ago, this charming book explains how to solve cryptograms based on elementary mathematical principles, starting with the Caesar cipher and building up to progressively more sophisticated substitution methods. Todd Feil has updated the book for the technological age by adding two new chapters covering RSA public-key cryptography, one-time pads, and pseudo-random-number generators.
Exercises are given throughout the text that will help the reader understand the concepts and practice the techniques presented. Software to ease the drudgery of making the necessary calculations is made available. The book assumes minimal mathematical prerequisites and therefore explains from scratch such concepts as summation notation, matrix multiplication, and modular arithmetic. Even the mathematically sophisticated reader, however, will find some of the exercises challenging. (Answers to the exercises appear in an appendix.)
A hardcover version of this book is available in the MAA Store.
* As a textbook, Elementary Cryptanalysis does have DRM. Our DRM protected PDFs can be downloaded to three computers.
Electronic ISBN: 9780883859377
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