History of Cryptology

These days, Cryptology has became part of my life. Everything because on Saturday I am going to have a small talk about the evolution of Cryptology from the beginning to modern day. It is nothing fancy, just a 20 minutes presentation (find more about this on my post: A Surprise). I liked a lot the history part of the story ( a little strange for me, cause I am not a history-person at all and this was never my favorite subject in school) and I thought that it would be nice to share with you some of things that I like more.

The moment the concept oJulius_Caesar_Coustou_Louvre_MR1798f ‘secrecy’ appeared, was used and needed by the community; cryptology appeared as a science. On its early days it was associated mostly with military, diplomatic service and government.It was used as a tool to protect national secrets and war strategies. One of the rst methods used was the affine transformation. The first documented use of a cipher for military reasons was an affine transformation during Julius Caesar’s Gallic War.  The document contained Caesar’s description of how he sent a message to Cicero. Caesar used ciphers on a regular basis and numerous books were written about his cipher system.

7462003_origWhile the Caesar Cipher was used more for military purpose, the Islam is known to have started using ciphers to protect their administrative system (particularly tax records). Furthermore, they were the founders of cryptanalysis. The Muslim civilization has spread fast before 750 AD (half of the known world was under their rule) which gave them the stability and peace needed to reach high level of understanding of several disciplines; including cryptology. Moreover, they had access to knowledge of previous civilizations from Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian to Chines, Hebrew and Roman texts.

The development of microelectronics and electromechanical machines, changed cryptology by introducing cryptological machines instead of classical methods. At this point one of the most in influential example is the Enigma machine. Invented at the end of WWI by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius, the breaking of Enigma led to a rapid development in the field of cryptology.


The modern day cryptology has evolved drastically. After the apparition of computers and communication systems, cryptology is used in security services to protect information in digital form. At the beginning of 1970s the most well-known cryptographic mechanism in the world: DES (Data Encryption Standard) was developed. It was used as a standard mean for securing electronic commerce by many financial institutions around the world, until in 2005 when it was withdrawn and replaced with the more stronger Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). In 1976, Die and Hellman published New Directions in Cryptology, presenting the concept of public-key cryptology to the general public for the first time. In 1978 Rivest, Shamir and Adleman discovered the first practical public-key encryption and signature scheme, called RSA. Later, in 1985 ElGamal found another class of practical public-key scheme. And just from these breakthroughs, things escalated for digital security: the rst international standard for digital signature (ISO/IEC 9796) – based on the RSA cipher- was adopted in 1991 and in 1994 the US government adopted the Digital Signature Standard – based on the ElGamal public-key cipher.

Hope you liked this post, and if you would like to know more email me at LThMathematics@gmail.com  Moreover, expect a lot of posts about this conference after it is over. I am excited to go there, and I will try to write as much about it as possible.

Hope you liked this post and that you had a great day. Thank you for reading and enjoy your week. Wish me luck! You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,   Twitter  and  Instagram. Don’t forget that maths is everywhere!

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