It was said long ago that only one year a person learns to speak, and the rest of his life to keep silent. Cipher Day is a very special holiday. This is a day that confirms the old wisdom that silence is gold, but words are sometimes simply necessary. Encryption combines both: the person is an informational message for an initiate, white noise for the uninitiated, lack of information, a golden silence.
Do not think that encryption arose only when writing originated. Another type of message may be encrypted. What is tracing animal trails, if not the encryption technique? In this case, the game acts as a cryptographer, and the hunter plays the role of a decoder. So the first encryption came into being with humanity. But the art of encryption began to flourish with the advent of politics, science and especially - tribal, and later state borders.
Everything was ciphered: the recipes of the first healers (shamans), intelligence reports (this institute is as old as mankind), technical and scientific advances (starting from the technology of flint processing to produce a quality ax and ending with the technology of manufacturing a nuclear warhead), letters from lovers, business correspondence, accounting books ... There is no area of human activity that encryption would not affect.
Many encryption methods, once thought to be flawless and ideal, are now only suitable for children's games. Even in the middle ages was very popular litorea, based on the principle of letter substitution (the alphabet was divided in half, the first half was written from left to right, the second - from right to left, under the first, and then the letters from the top row were replaced by the letters of the bottom row and vice versa). Now the lithorea, once an ideal encryption technique, is known to all and is not suitable for real encoding of messages.
In those days, when only a few knew what Pi was, curious encryption method, very vividly described by Vladimir Korotkevich in the Black Castle of Olshansky as “the medieval Belarusian method of sending secret letters”:
“Two commanders, a diplomat or a conspirator in advance made themselves two objects of the same form. Everyone had one with him. If it was necessary to send a report, one of them would wrap a strip of paper on its subject, the length and width of which were agreed in advance. Then the text was written along this subject. Then the strip was unwound. On the unwound tape, nothing could be understood, because the words, parts of the words, even the letters were now at its most diverse ends. The one who received the report, wound it on your subject at a predetermined angle ... and read ".
The special charm of this method was that the messenger caught with such a message was not tortured - everyone knew that the messenger still had no idea about the content of the message and even about what the subject for winding the tape looked like.
But the general distribution of literacy and Pi numbers led to the fact that this method had to be abandoned - the calculation of the diameter of the subject and its shape became a matter of technique and a small waste of time for any person, even a little savvy in mathematics.
There were ancient methods of compiling encrypted messages that could not be decrypted in principle. These include text counting method. How many letters "a", "b" and so on. The message is recorded by simply listing the number of letters. Even modern computers are not able to cope with a similar task - there are already a lot of options to go through, and some of them are quite coherent and even truth-like. Here are just her non.
This technique was used before the advent of patent offices to ensure priority in discoveries. The encryption certified by the notary was a kind of patent confirming that such a scientist or inventor did or discovered something. After taking such precautions, it was possible with a clear conscience to refine the invention and discovery — no one could take the priority away.
Letter substitution methods are still used in modern encryption techniques, only they are not based on the primitive (by today's times) litorea principle, but, for example, on a key phrase.
Most efficient encryption still those that include not only the mechanical element of the cipher (the same substitution of letters, numbers, etc.), but also a personal agreement. For example, we agree that the Independence Square of the city of Minsk is called Asanaliev Street, and after that we can safely arrange a date for each other, using such names as well as the usual cipher. As a result, even if the encrypted message itself is decrypted, dear observers will be able to search through the entire Asanaliev street while we meet peacefully on Independence Square.
On the art of encryption and decryption written volume. Talented programmers and mathematicians are engaged in encryption and decryption, people with the broadest vision - it’s never known beforehand what exactly will be used in the cipher, which key will help to crack it (sometimes it may turn out that it is a rare breed of cats, and in other cases it will help only knowledge of classical literature).
As soon as the telegraph appeared and the radio was invented, not only the speed of information transmission increased, but the opportunity appeared to intercept much larger information volumes. Immediately began and the improvement of cryptographic services.
May 5, 1921 The Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR established the Cryptographic Service, which was supposed to protect information. It still does this today, and not just in information and telecommunication systems and special communication systems in Russia and in foreign institutions of the Russian Federation, but also in systems that use modern information technologies.
Honestly, I want to make a toast: so let's drink for them, for the fighters of the invisible front, for those who can speak, but can also hide what was said! For those who give the chance to exist secrets - scientific, state, commercial and even secrets of lovers!