Cracking the Cipher Challenge
In "The Code Book", a history of cryptography, the author
Simon Singh included ten encrypted messages with a prize of
£10,000 for the first person to decipher all of them.
Thousands of amateur and professional code breakers took up
the Cipher Challenge, but it took over a year before the messages
were cracked. Simon Singh will be talking about how he constructed
the Cipher Challenge and how the winners eventually cracked
it. In particular, he will be using the Cipher Challenge to
give an introduction to the history of cryptography and to
demonstrate why encryption is more important today than ever
before. Along the way, he will demonstrate a genuine Second
World War Enigma cipher machine.
After completing his PhD in particle physics at Cambridge
University, Simon Singh became a science journalist. He is
the author of two best selling books, "Fermat's Last Theorem"
and "The Code Book", and prior to that he was a producer and
director in the BBC TV Science Department. He has recently
presented programmes on BBC radio and Channel 4 (The Science
of Secrecy, Five Numbers, The Serendipity of Science).