Week 6 - Privacy and Security
Click on the title of each topic below to be
linked to an article about that topic. Each student is responsible for
reading every article.
A simple history of cryptography and steganography
The Voynich Manuscript has been a puzzle to the cryptography community
for most of the past century.
Numerous "solutions" have been published, many of which have later been
disproved. It has been recently demonstrated how the text could have
been fabricated given medieval techniquqes.
A Vigenere cipher uses a key phrase to control the progression of a
Navajo code talkers proved to be an invaluable asset during the Pacific
theater of WWII
The enigma was used by the German military during WWII, believing it
effectively to be uncrackable.
The Allies at Blenchley Park, led by the early computer science genius,
Alan Turing and literally a cast of thousands, cracked the code and
routinely deciphered secret German communiques.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is the current state of the art
standard symmetric block encryption mechanism.
Also called Diffie Hellman Merkle Key Exchange in honor of the
mathematicin who developed much of the background, this approach allows
two users to share a secret common number without any secret
Named for the co-developers Rivest, Shamir and Adelman, RSA is a public
key or asymmetric encryption technique. In such systems, the part
encrypting a message does not have the ability to decrypt the message,
meaning that anyone in the public can encrypt messages that only the
target recepient can decrypt. This ability also allows messages to be
"signed", proving who sent it.
Phil Zimmerman created a general purpose encryption package called PGP
(Pretty Good Privacy). The US Department of Justice pursued a criminal
case against him for several years before finally dropping the matter.
PGP has become a broadly used tool for e-mail packages.
The US attempted to force all enryption through a US controlled
mechanism called the Clipper chip. Messages encrypted by the Clipper
chip could be decrypted by a second key that was help by the US
goverment, theoretically only under court issued search warrant.
Quantum encryption appears to be the future of cryptography
Data mining has given governments, businesses and sometimes criminals
access to private information about individuals.
An article about the controversial secret e-mail
This is the first of a series of articles on privacy and the web from
the Wall Street Journal. For the other articles (not required for this
course), look here