The best cryptanalysis books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about cryptanalysis and why they recommend each book.

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Battle of Wits

By Stephen Budiansky,

Book cover of Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II

It is hard to underestimate the significance of code breaking during World War II. Without the work of dedicated mathematicians, linguists, and others the great conflicts such as the Battle of Midway and the German U-boat "wolfpacks" that sank over 13 million tons of Allied supplies could have easily been up for grabs. But due to the codebreakers the balance shifted to the Allies. And what is even equally impressive is that the Axis powers never knew that their encoded messages were being read. Stephen Budiansky traces how the codebreakers pulled off this feat while at the same time often battling within their own ranks about who should decode the message, how the messages should be used, and who should get the credit.


Who am I?

I have had the opportunity to write (I have written over 30 college textbooks on technology, most of them in the area of cybersecurity), study (my PhD dissertation was on cybersecurity), teach (I have taught at colleges and universities my entire career about technology, networking, and cybersecurity), and research (I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles) on the topic of cybersecurity. But I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the average computer user who struggles with how to protect their technology devices. This has helped drive my passion to focus on practical cybersecurity for everyone.


I wrote...

Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World

By Mark Ciampa,

Book cover of Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World

What is my book about?

Cybersecurity attacks are a major worry for technology users today. Yet cybersecurity defenses are a major puzzle for technology users today. What steps should you take to protect your technology? Which steps are the most important? How do you install software patches? Should you have antivirus software on your mobile device? What does a firewall do? How can you test your computer to know that it is not vulnerable? Knowing how to make and then keep technology devices secure can be a daunting task. This book provides you with the knowledge and tools you need to make your computer and related technology equipment—tablets, laptops, smartphones, and wireless networks—secure. The revised 6th edition will be available Fall 2022.

The Bletchley Park Codebreakers

By Michael Smith, Ralph Erskine,

Book cover of The Bletchley Park Codebreakers

This anthology is a valuable complement to my first book, with a couple of dozen contributors: a mixture of some who worked at Bletchley Park during the war, and some who are professional historians. The passage of time has encouraged archival research, and allowed historical analysis, producing an authoritative account of Bletchley’s achievements, particularly the breaking of millions of Enigma-enciphered messages.


Who am I?

Dr. Mark Baldwin – aka Dr. Enigma – is a world expert and speaker on the Enigma machine and has delivered over 700 presentations and demonstrations (using his own, genuine wartime Enigma machine) to some 70,000 people around the world. He has spoken to a wide range of audiences, from cybersecurity experts and software developers at leading Silicon Valley tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox, and PayPal, to academic audiences at universities, executives at business conferences, and the general public in a couple of hundred one-man theatre shows.


My project is...

Book Dr. Enigma For An Event

Dr. Mark ‘Enigma’ Baldwin is an international expert and professional speaker on the Enigma machine, the History of Cryptography, and the Special Operations Executive, and has delivered more than 800 talks on these topics, all over the world. His Enigma machine talks and demos offer a rare opportunity for the audience to see and even play with a genuine, wartime Enigma machine.

The Codebreakers

By David Kahn,

Book cover of The Codebreakers: The Story Of Secret Writing

Superb. Kahn’s book, written almost fifty years ago, is rightly considered the classic work on the history of cryptography. It’s enormous, some 1200 pages, but it draws the reader in with its richly detailed portraits of code-makers and code-breakers from ancient times to the modern era. Kahn’s analysis of American cryptographic operations during WWII is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the intelligence failures that preceded Pearl Harbor. The 1996 updated edition is still in print.


Who are we?

Anthony Summers and I are the authors of several books that focus on the world of intelligence, including The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden- which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. As we revealed in our most recent book, A Matter of Honor, U.S. code-breaking efforts in World War II began with a colossal failure – Pearl Harbor. According to the first official report on the disaster, the attack “had been clearly foreshadowed” in the Japanese diplomatic traffic the U.S had decoded. The story of how the Americans turned that initial failure into success came to fascinate me.


We wrote...

A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

By Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan,

Book cover of A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

What is our book about?

On the seventy-fifth anniversary, the authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Eleventh Day unravel the mysteries of Pearl Harbor to expose the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command the day 2,000 Americans died, report on the continuing struggle to restore his lost honor--and clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming.

Code Girls

By Liza Mundy,

Book cover of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Mundy’s unputdownable book tells the story of the women behind some of the most significant code-breaking triumphs of the war. The work of women like Elizabeth Friedman – who got her start unpicking the codes of Prohibition-era liquor smugglers – was one of the war’s best-kept secrets.


Who are we?

Anthony Summers and I are the authors of several books that focus on the world of intelligence, including The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden- which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. As we revealed in our most recent book, A Matter of Honor, U.S. code-breaking efforts in World War II began with a colossal failure – Pearl Harbor. According to the first official report on the disaster, the attack “had been clearly foreshadowed” in the Japanese diplomatic traffic the U.S had decoded. The story of how the Americans turned that initial failure into success came to fascinate me.


We wrote...

A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

By Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan,

Book cover of A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

What is our book about?

On the seventy-fifth anniversary, the authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Eleventh Day unravel the mysteries of Pearl Harbor to expose the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command the day 2,000 Americans died, report on the continuing struggle to restore his lost honor--and clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming.

Combined Fleet Decoded

By John Prados,

Book cover of Combined Fleet Decoded: The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II

A groundbreaking work of research that is at the same time a page-turning read that sheds new light on the epic battles of the conflict. Prados interweaves the intelligence successes and failures of the U.S. and Japanese combatants in a way that has not previously been attempted. The resulting work adds hugely to our understanding of the war in the Pacific.


Who are we?

Anthony Summers and I are the authors of several books that focus on the world of intelligence, including The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden- which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. As we revealed in our most recent book, A Matter of Honor, U.S. code-breaking efforts in World War II began with a colossal failure – Pearl Harbor. According to the first official report on the disaster, the attack “had been clearly foreshadowed” in the Japanese diplomatic traffic the U.S had decoded. The story of how the Americans turned that initial failure into success came to fascinate me.


We wrote...

A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

By Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan,

Book cover of A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

What is our book about?

On the seventy-fifth anniversary, the authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Eleventh Day unravel the mysteries of Pearl Harbor to expose the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command the day 2,000 Americans died, report on the continuing struggle to restore his lost honor--and clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming.

The Girl from Bletchley Park

By Kathleen McGurl,

Book cover of The Girl from Bletchley Park

I’m fascinated by the way the code breakers at Bletchley helped to shorten the war. In Pam, McGurl has created a strong woman, who makes key choices, sometimes at the expense of her own happiness, to support the war effort. But what I really enjoyed was the time slip nature of the novel, where Pam is contrasted to her granddaughter Julia, a modern woman, who, when let down by the men around her, becomes empowered by her own freedom. It’s interesting to see how women’s roles have changed between the 1940s and today. 


Who am I?

As a teacher, I spent forty years at the chalkface before finally achieving my ambition to be a published writer. My first novel was about a child migrant to Australia; my second about a little girl on the kinder transport. I wanted to write about strong women in world war two. All three of the mothers in my stories are separated from their children and have to make some tough decisions. I hope my readers will remember them for their courage and tenacity and that they’ll enjoy reading about them as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. 


I wrote...

The Child on Platform One

By Gill Thompson,

Book cover of The Child on Platform One

What is my book about?

Prague 1939. Young mother Eva has a secret from her past. When the Nazis invade, Eva knows the only way to keep her daughter Miriam safe is to send her away - even if it means never seeing her again. But when Eva is taken to a concentration camp, her secret is at risk of being exposed.

In London, Pamela volunteers to help find places for the Jewish children who arrived from Europe. Befriending one unclaimed little girl, Pamela brings her home. Then when her son enlists in the RAF, Pamela realises how easily her own world could come crashing down…

Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents

By Carole P. Roman,

Book cover of Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents: A World War II Book for Kids

Carole P. Roman has hit a home run with this nonfiction book. It paints an intriguing picture of the life of spies during World War II. Roman details the training, weapons, and tools used in spy craft. I found the chapters featuring biographical portraits fascinating. Chef Julia Child and author Graham Greene operated undercover. Roman discusses double agents and the Native Americans who broke the Japanese code. I would recommend this book to children who love adventure, espionage, and history. It’s a perfect read for middle-grade students, but an eye-opener for adults as well.


Who am I?

As a parent, grandparent, retired educator, historian, and children’s book author, I am an avid reader and advocate for children’s literacy. My forty years of experience working with children and their families gives me the background and expertise to identify high-quality books and the types of subjects that children will want to read and adults in the family will enjoy sharing with them.


I wrote...

Little Miss History Travels to Mount Vernon

By Barbara Ann Mojica, Victor Ramon Mojica (illustrator),

Book cover of Little Miss History Travels to Mount Vernon

What is my book about?

Who was George Washington? Washington is best known as America's first president, but he was also a military hero. If you asked George Washington what he really wanted to be, he would reply, "a farmer." Seeking to revolutionize antiquated 18th-century farming methods, Washington experimented with crop rotation, fertilizers, plowing, and plants. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association began restoring his estate to its former glory in 1853. Today the buildings, grounds, and The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center reveal the real Father of the United States of America.

Winner of a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Winner of the 2018 International Book Excellence award in children's nonfiction. Winner of the 2018 Reader's Favorite International Book Awards silver medal in children’s educational books.

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