Cryptography Is The Science Or Study Of Techniques Of Secret Writing And Message Hiding

1174 Words Oct 9th, 2015 null Page
Cryptography claims its roots from the latin root of kryptos, which means hidden secret, and graphein, which means writing. According to Dictionary.com, "Cryptography is the science or study of techniques of secret writing and message hiding." In today 's fast paced and tech savvy world, it isn 't strange to have at least a fleeting knowledge of cryptology and encryption specifically but this relatively young science and field of engineering has very deep roots. The generally agreed upon first example of cryptography at work occurred nearly four thousand years ago and is found in the ancient tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Khnumhotep, where "...[the scribe] uses some unusual hieroglyphic symbols here and there in place of more ordinary ones." (Kahn 71) While it 's believed that the anonymous scribe responsible for the hieroglyphics wasn 't doing so to deliberately obfuscate his message as there was "no fully developed code of hieroglyphic substitution" according to Kahn. However, his actions, perhaps intended to add dignity to the carvings, had another effect - an essential ingredient of cryptography, the deliberate transformation of a message. While the scribes reasoning will forever remain unknown, modern scientist have given a name to the technique he used - a substitution cypher. A substitution cypher is "any cipher system which substitutes one symbol or character for another." While, the scribe 's carvings aren 't a true substitution cipher, one doesn 't…

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