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Cryptanalysis: A Study of Ciphers and Their Solution Paperback – April 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (April 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486200973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486200972
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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If you really want to learn a working knowledge of ciphers and cryptanalysis this is the book!
Patrick L. Reeder
I bought this book after becoming interested in cryptanalysis from reading The Code Book By Simon Singh.
Game Geek
Size of the book is deceiving compared to the amount of info crammed into it, b/c of the small print.
CryptoDoc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Game Geek on April 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after becoming interested in cryptanalysis from reading The Code Book By Simon Singh. Wow! This book is chock full of information considering its age. Not only does it give great analyses of classical ciphers, it has loads of useful information about various languages in the appendix. This data is indispensable when trying to crack a cipher. Loads of solved exercises complete a very enjoyable book that will suck many hours of your time if you're interested in cryptography at all.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Landrum on October 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a former codebreaker with the ASA/NSA during the VN war, I often found it helpful to have a copy of Helen's book handy, and spent many enjoyable hours solving the sample ciphers provided. This valuable book not only describes many historically significant encipherment methods, but also goes into detail about how to break them. Afficianados of manual ciphers might also wish to contact others with similar interests and can do so through the American Cryptogram Association at [...]
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Patrick L. Reeder on November 15, 1997
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply the best manual for learning basic cryptanalysis of classical ciphers. Very easy on required math knowledge (unlike many of more recent books!) If you really want to learn a working knowledge of ciphers and cryptanalysis this is the book!
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Victor A. Vyssotsky on December 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
When Helen Gaines wrote this book in 1939 (and, by the way, she titled it "Elementary Cryptanalysis", not just "Cryptanalysis", it was by far the best unclassified introduction to cryptology written in English (perhaps even in any language). It is still an admirable book for anyone who wants to start learning cryptology without help; the large number of carefully worked examples and exercises make it excellent for "do it yourself." And for those who intend to make a serious study of modern cryptology, this book is still a useful assist, in the same sense that a vivid and comprehensive memory of high school algebra helps a lot when one tries to learn calculus and differential equations.
However, crytology in 2001 is as different from cryptology in 1939 as a Virginia-class submarine is from a pre-WW II sub. So, if it were me, I would start learning from Alan Konheim's book, using Gaines' book as a supplementary text for clarification and examples. Konheim's book requires one to know or learn a certain amount of math that Gaines doesn't require, but since about 1960 it has become very hard to grasp (let alone use) modern crytographic methods without at least as much math as Konheim uses, so one might just as well bite the bullet and learn it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cliff Alexander on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book over 40 years ago... It is, by far, the best book for pen-and-pencil cryptogram solving that I have found. It gives sufficient information to allow attacking any pen-and-pencil cryptogram. If it is followed by Bauer's "Decrypted Secrets," one would have a very thorough introduction to methods of solutions (Bauer is quite mathematical, but also recommended to the mathematically inclined). An excellent introduction with a great deal of useful information that is probably the best available source for pre-computer techniques.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By newton fisher on June 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
The author of this book was party to a cryptological society, still around, founded in the early 1920's which made, and solved, cryptograms as a hobby just as people `do' crossword puzzles.
All crypto can, loosely, be divided into the sort used by governments, banks, international drug traffickers, and those using digital communications and that type of crypto used by people who just don't want secretaries, nosey people or their teacher peeking into their lives.
This book will most likely cover all the later groups crypto needs. I have used it, almost exclusively, for 30 years, where fast and short communication was needed to a known recipient with a decryption `key'.
This book uses complex English and print which is uncomfortably small. There are some `gems' of obscure information in this book as, by example, a frequency list which identifies the final letter of 10,000 typical words in Portuguese ... O.K. ... nothing I suspect that one could not `figure out' but nothing I suspect that one ever would.
While a trained crypto analyst might unravel these in short order they are impenetrable to most secretaries, nosey folks and schoolteachers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This appears to be a reprint of the little book by the same title that utterly consumed me, probably for hundreds of hours, in the 1970's. It was old then, and looks even older now. And yet, pushing letters around on a page is timeless. It's laughably low-tech and yet, utterly modern, all at the same time. Some of the tricks and techniques described are so profound and clever, they are reminiscent of calculus in how they demonstrate the power of the well-applied human mind. This book can be an absorbing hobby all by itself. Plus when I found a coded note written by some girls in my junior high school, I was able to read it...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Paul Greenough on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
A great way to get started in classical cryptology. If you want to go further and learn something about cryptology today, I'd suggest Applied Cryptology by Bruce Schneier, rather than the Konheim book, which is really heavy duty mathematics.
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