Monday, July 29, 2019

Cracking Codes With Python: An Introduction to Building and Breaking Ciphers

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couple of books teach beginners how to hack ciphers. But no books teach beginners how to program computers to hack ciphers. This book fills that gap.

This book is for those who are curious about encryption, hacking, or cryptography. The ciphers in this book (except for the public key cipher in Chapters 23 and 24) are all centuries old, but any laptop has the computational power to hack them. No modern organizations or individuals use these ciphers anymore, but by learning them, you’ll learn the foundations cryptography was built on and how hackers can break weak encryption.

This book is also for people who have never programmed before. It teaches basic programming concepts using the Python programming language, which is one of the best languages for beginners. It has a gentle learning curve that novices of all ages can master, yet it’s also a powerful language used by professional software developers. Python runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and even the Raspberry Pi, and it’s free to download and use. (See “Downloading and Installing Python” on page xxv for instructions.)

In this book, I’ll use the term hacker often. The word has two definitions. A hacker can be a person who studies a system (such as the rules of a cipher or a piece of software) to understand it so well that they’re not limited by that system’s original rules and can modify it in creative ways. A hacker can also be a criminal who breaks into computer systems, violates people’s privacy, and causes damage. This book uses the term in the first sense. Hackers are cool. Criminals are just people who think they’re being clever by breaking stuff.

Chapter 1: Making Paper Cryptography Tools
Chapter 2: Programming in the Interactive Shell
Chapter 3: Strings and Writing Programs
Chapter 4: The Reverse Cipher
Chapter 5: The Caesar Cipher
Chapter 6: Hacking the Caesar Cipher with Brute-Force
Chapter 7: Encrypting with the Transposition Cipher
Chapter 8: Decrypting with the Transposition Cipher
Chapter 9: Programming a Program to Test Your Program
Chapter 10: Encrypting and Decrypting Files
Chapter 11: Detecting English Programmatically
Chapter 12: Hacking the Transposition Cipher
Chapter 13: A Modular Arithmetic Module for the Affine Cipher
Chapter 14: Programming the Affine Cipher
Chapter 15: Hacking the Affine Cipher
Chapter 16: Programming the Simple Substitution Cipher
Chapter 17: Hacking the Simple Substitution Cipher
Chapter 18: Programming the Vigenère Cipher
Chapter 19: Frequency Analysis
Chapter 20: Hacking the Vigenère Cipher
Chapter 21: The One-Time Pad Cipher
Chapter 22: Finding and Generating Prime Numbers
Chapter 23: Generating Keys for the Public Key Cipher
Chapter 24: Programming the Public Key Cipher
Appendix: Debugging Python Code

Author Details
"Al Sweigart"

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