2 1. HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
Figure 1.1. Hieroglyph on Papyrus of Ani. (Image from
Wikipedia Commons.)
and update inventories in real time). After reading this book, you’ll have
a good idea of the origins of the subject and the problems and the applica-
tions. To describe modern attacks in detail is well beyond the scope of the
book and requires advanced courses in everything from number theory to
quantum mechanics. For further reading about these and related issues, see
[5, 6, 57].
1.1. Ancient Times
The first practice of cryptography dates at least as far back as ancient Egypt,
where scribes recorded various pieces of information as hieroglyphs on
monuments and tombs to distinguish them from the commonly used char-
acters of the time and give them more importance (see Figure 1.1). These
hieroglyphics included symbols and pictures, and were translated by the hi-
erarchy of the country to suit themselves. Thus, the hieroglyphs served the
purpose of taking something in writing and masking the text in secrecy. s
The Egyptian hieroglyphs were initially done on stone as carvings and
then later on papyrus. The Babylonians and others at about the same
time used cuneiform tablets for their writing. One such tablet contained
Previous Page Next Page