From the time of the ancient pharaohs to the modern world of Internet banking, civilization has relied on codes and ciphers to keep its secrets. The 4,000-year history of cryptography has been a kind of arms race: Each time a more complex encryption has been developed, it has been attacked and, more often than not, decoded; and each time, in response, codemakers have produced tougher and tougher codes.
Codebreaker surveys the entire history of codes through an eloquent narrative and an evocative range of illustrations, paying special attention to famous codes that have never been broken, such as the Beale Ciphers, the Voynich manuscript, the Easter Island code, and many more. Many great names in history appear throughout, from Caesar and Mary Queen of Scots, to Samuel Morse and Alan Turing. The narrative is based in part on interviews with cryptology experts, Navaho windtalkers, decryption experts, and law enforcement experts, and ends with a vision of the coded future via quantum cryptography.