Histoire des codes secrets (The Code Book) by Simon Singh, translated from English by Catherine Coqueret - ISBN 978253150978 - Editions Jean-Claude Lattes 1999 note that the previous ISBN 0965073335 had no cover, edition might differ



Birthday present from my father.

Pre-reading model

Draw a schema (using PmGraphViz or another solution) of the situation of the area in the studied domain before having read the book.


  • cryptography vs cryptoanalysis, constant arm-race
    • "Marie et Baington avaient fait confiance a un chiffre pour tenir leurs plans secrets, mais ils vivaient a une epoque ou la cryptographie perdait de son efficacite devant les avancees de la cryptanalyse" (p68 of the french edition)
    • see also my notes on Seedea:Research/Drive
  • similarities between translation from ancient without knowledge of their meaning
  • Babbage's inventor mindset
  • Alan Turing brillance yet social difficulties
  • nature of secrecy in the domain
    • thus difficulty of research which is generally based on public exchange
  • potential link between
    • frequency analysis (comparing distribution of letters and/or words in a language) and
    • manifolds in Information Geometry (comparing probability distributions)
  • evolution of cryptography
    • monoalphabet
    • polyalphabet
    • carre de Vigenere
    • le chiffre indechiffrable
    • key exchange, one way math function
    • quantum encryption without ear dropping possibility
  • evolution of cryptoanalysis
    • analysis of frequencies
    • mechanisation
    • quantum algorithms to potentially crack RSA/DES


  • Wikipedia:Secure Shell aka SSH
  • rainbow tables
  • PGP
    • The GNU Privacy Guard GNU project's complete and free implementation of the OpenPGP standard as defined by RFC4880.
    • FireGPG Firefox extension under MPL that provides an integrated interface to apply GnuPG operations
  • Off-the-Record Messaging distant messaging by providing Encryption, Authentication, Deniability, Perfect forward secrecy
  • DistCrypt by Neohapsis Labs presented at Hacker Halted 2009
  • IACR Crypto DB, searching in publications from Crypto, Eurocrypt, Asiacrypt, CHES, PKC, TCC, FSE, the Journal of Cryptology, ...

See also

Overall remarks and questions

  • this? that?


So in the end, it was about X and was based on Y.


Point A, B and C are debatable because of e, f and j.


(:new_vocabulary_start:) new_word (:new_vocabulary_end:)

Post-reading model

Draw a schema (using PmGraphViz or another solution) of the situation of the area in the studied domain after having read the book. Link it to the pre-reading model and align the two to help easy comparison.


Other read books linking to the TheCodeBook page :

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics

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