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This content is taken from the Coventry University & Institute of Coding's online course, An Introduction to Cryptography. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds For thousands of years secrecy and confidentiality and communication has been of critical importance to all civilisations. This necessity to shroud the content important documents and messages has challenged authors to make their correspondence undecipherable by adversaries. From this need for secrecy, the art of cryptography was born. The development of cryptographic processes and algorithms to encrypt the content of communications in a secure way has allowed us to protect our intellectual property. It has aided diplomacy, but, also espionage. It has oppressed groups, built businesses and it has enabled wars to be won or lost. As cryptographic methods have advanced, the desire to intercept communications and decrypt their code to reveal messages true meaning has emerged.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds These two cryptographic factions- cryptography, the encryption of a messages text and cryptanalysis the decryption of an encoded message- have since been locked in an eternal power struggle. Each discipline is as important as the other, neither branch defined by their moral or ethical stance. Individually they are used for both good and evil and both are aspiring to have the upper-hand in this perpetual battle. I represent ‘The Guild of Cryptographers’. And, I represent ‘The Guild of Cryptanalysts’. In this module we will be your guide as we explore how advances in cryptography and cryptanalysis have influenced the past and have shaped every aspect of the modern world.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds In the digital age encryption underpins almost every process that we undertake on a daily basis from the moment we wake until the moment we sleep. The boundaries between cryptography and cryptanalysis have now become blurred the good are now Forced to hack and the bad conceal their actions with new algorithms. Every moment we are trying to crack new codes, to build better systems. We’re in a constant state of tension. A state of war. Which side is winning? We’ll let you decide?

Ancient cryptography and the need for secrecy

Watch the video in which the Lead Educators talk about the long history of encrypting and hiding information and how it has always been a battle between people who want to keep a secret and those that want to steal it.

Which side is winning? We’ll let you decide.

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This video is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Cryptography

Coventry University