I had a general idea about what cryptography and code breaking was. Learning the history of the subject in the first chapter was interesting. When I was in grade school, my friends and I used to wrap pieces of paper around pencils to write small messages; similar to how the Spartans used the scytale. The idea of using the frequency to determine the letters in cipher seems logical, however tedious to do, and it appears that it would only work with the most basic of ciphers. It is fascinating that cryptanalysis can be used when the 26 symbols are not even letters of the english alphabet. The most interesting piece of the chapter was the quote on page 41, “The cipher of Mary Queen of Scots clearly demonstrates that a weak encryption can be worse than no encryption at all.” It shed some light on the actual content of the cipher rather then the means of encrypting and decrypting it. Combining the cipher with discretion would be the safest means of communication. It amazed me that some complicated ciphers have been cracked throughout history without the technology we have today. As with most branches of science, more data is better. The more a certain cipher is used, the more likely it is to be cracked because certain patterns begin to emerge. That is why cryptography is a constantly evolving field: adaptation is necessary for survival.