Cryptography quite a history which dates back as far as when man first to make marks to represent aspects of their lives and as technologies (albeit as primitive as they may seem in comparison to the technologies of today) forged ahead and we developed the written word, cryptology could be as simple as just writing down a message. This may sound over simplified but remember that reading and writing were skills that were taught to the minority.

So initially, cryptology was just about writing a message and passing it on to someone. But as education became available to more people that meant that any written message could be read by anyone who had the skill to decipher the squiggles. But not every message needs to be read by anyone other than the designated recipient. Remember also that even back when we lived in caves, the pictures/messages on the walls were not necessarily meant for everyone as different groups had different enemies.

When you take into consideration social history, as soon as people started to form tribes there was a need for secrecy concerning land, food sources and general politics. As civilisations progressed the use of cryptography became more devious. Egyptians already had hieroglyphs, they simply made subtle changes to the characters and only people who knew the code were able to read the ‘true’ message. The Greeks also became really innovative about ‘codes’, one of the most popular ways to send a coded message was to wrap a tape around a stick, the message would be written on the stick. In order to understand the message when it was delivered to you, you needed to have a sick of the same diameter as the original stick otherwise you could not read the message.

But there is never a greater need for cryptology than during periods of conflict. Over history the secret codes have become more complex and some could be considered to be unbreakable. In Britain during the Second World War there was a group of code breakers based at Bletchley, whose sole role was to break codes used by the enemy. Over time these codes have become more and more complex. Given time and perseverance. Most codes can be broken do many agencies change the codes they use on a regular basis, and for some this could be daily.

One of the most innovative and unbroken ‘codes’ used during the Second World War was used by the Navajo’s who based a code on their native language, in today’s world, the more hi-tech option is for the use of public and private keys that support a form of asymmetric encryption.