|This is a very interesting book. Of course, I'm saying that as someone who's been intrigued by secret codes, puzzles and cryptography since a was a wee sprog.
The early chapters give an interesting history of how the likes of Ceaser, Mary Queen of Scots and Napolean used ciphers for security. Interestingly they were using ciphers like the ones we used to crack as 12 year old kids. They were using them to safeguard national security ... not sure what that says about their national security and my nurd factor as a 12 year old boy! It's true, I didn't know many girls back then
Then we move onto more modern (and stronger) encryption techniques, such as the Eigma machine and pubic key cryptography.
There are lots of interesting accounts of how cryptanalysts have broken encryption through history, while the users of the encryption mistakedly thought their system unbreakable. Makes you wonder exactly how good our current codes are ... has someone already come up with a quick way to factor those large primes?Finally the book takes a look at how quantum physics will allow us to break the strongest of present day encryption, in a matter of seconds, ... oh, except quantum physics also provides us with the ultimate in unbreakable encryption mechanism.
If anyone can explain to me the significance of (p-1) and (q-1) in public key cryptography I would be most greatful.