Cryptography

The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Expository Essay - The Great Paris Cipher

Here's Sam's paper on the Great Paris Cipher [PDF].

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1 Comment

  1. Danielle Curran

    I found this paper very engaging and interesting to read. The history connected to the cipher was explained very well and by including such a detailed account of the war the faults of the cipher were made very clear. The inclusion of the cryptography techniques of the British really helped put the efforts of the French with their Great Paris Cipher into perspective.

    I also thought the explanation of the actual cipher was very clear and well done. Not only was the use of the cipher explained, but the potential security of the cipher was also explained, showing how the cipher could have been extremely secure had the French been more careful. I also found the example of how part of the code was deciphered helpful in understanding how Scovell was able to break the cipher.

    The only thing I feel could have been expanded on was how this cipher is related to other topics in the course. For example, could a connection be drawn between this cipher and the Great Cipher, which also used numbers in different ways to encode messages?

    Overall I think the paper was very well written and the explanation of the cipher was very clear and easy to understand. It is amazing to me how many times in history one side in a war gains an advantage because the other side is not careful enough in encoding their messages.

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