List of cryptographers

From Example Problems
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pre-19th century


  • Charles Babbage, UK, 19th century mathematician who, about the time of the Crimean War, secretly developed an effective attack against polyalphabetic substitution ciphers. His development was published independently a few years later by Friedrich Kasiski, a Prussian officer. Babbage also designed, and had partially built, the first programmable digital computer, the Analytical Engine. He first designed and had partially built the Difference engine for reduced errors in the preparation of mathematical tables -- specifically including navigational tables, thus accounting for the interest of the British Government in the project.
  • Alistair Denniston, UK, director of GC&CS at Bletchley Park during WWII.
  • Nigel de Grey, UK, member of the Room 40 British codebreaking team who played an important role in the decryption of the Zimmermann Telegram during WWI
  • Elizebeth Friedman, US, wife of William F, and cryptographer in her own right for the Coast Guard, Treasury Department, and assorted other US Government agencies in the 1920s and 1930s. Co-author of the most respected book on cyphers in Shakespeare. The spelling of her name is correct with three 'e's.
  • William F. Friedman, US, introduced statistical methods into cryptography; some would describe him as the founder of modern cryptography. Cryptography and genetics director at the Riverbank Laboratories before WWI, wrote extensively on cryptographic theory and practice, and became the US Army's chief (and for some time only) cryptographer, patented several cryptography related inventions some of which are still secret 60+ years later, including some aspects of the SIGABA machine. Co-author of the most respected book on cyphers in Shakespeare.
  • Friedrich Kasiski, author of the first published attack on the Vigenère cipher, now known as the Kasiski test (although Charles Babbage discovered a similar attack a few years earlier -- his work was not published).
  • Auguste Kerckhoffs, whose design principles have become axioms.
  • Dilwyn Knox, UK, Classics scholar and eccentric; WWI Room 40 member who stayed with cryptography between the Wars, becoming the chief cryptanalyst of the GC&CS before WWII. Broke commercial Enigma. Famous for solving problems in the bath.
  • Solomon Kullback, US, one of William Friedman's first three employees at the SIS in the 30's.
  • Leo Marks, UK, World War II cryptographer and SOE cryptography director, playwright, author of Between Silk and Cyanide.
  • Marian Rejewski: Polish mathematician-cryptologist who first broke German Enigma ciphers in December 1932, laying the foundations for Polish Enigma decryption and subsequently for British Enigma decryption ("Ultra") during World War II at Bletchley Park.
  • John Joseph Rochefort, US, mustang Navy officer (ie, ex enlisted) who early specialized in cryptography and languages, following Safford. A Japanese speaker. Became director of Station Hypo in Hawaii which made major contributions to the break into JN-25 after the attack on Pearl Harbor which led to the successful ambush at Midway. Casualty of power struggle within USN cryptography organization, was forced out of cryptography, and finished WWII in command of a dry dock in California. Honored posthumously for his Hawaiian cryptography work.
  • Frank Rowlett, US, leader of the team that broke Purple, contributor to the design of SIGABA. One of William Friedman's first three employees at the SIS.
  • Claude Elwood Shannon, US, founded the modern theory of cryptography (ca. WW II), proved the one-time pad to be unbreakable, founded and invented/developed information theory and major aspects of communication theory, one of the principal developers of the theory of error-correcting codes (with Richard Hamming), made major advances in logic circuit design in his Master's thesis.
  • Laurance Safford, US, chief cryptographer for the US Navy for 2 decades+. Also its first. Pioneered what became OP-20-G in WWII. One of the first Japanese speaking officers in the US Navy.
  • Abraham Sinkov, US, one of William Freidman's first three employees at the SIS in the 1930s.
  • John Tiltman, UK, British Army officer from Scotland, talented cryptographer/cryptanalyst. Contributed significantly before WWII in the era of hand cryptanalysis and during/after WW II in the era of machine assisted cryptanalysis. Worked at Bletchley Park and GCHQ.
  • Alan Mathison Turing, UK, one of the most original minds of the 20th century and one the chief cryptographers at Bletchley Park during World War II. Made major contributions to the theory of computation, and can even be regarded as its originator. Made major contributions to the engineering design and development of early computer hardware and software at the NPL and later at the University of Manchester.
  • Gordon Welchman, UK; during World War II, head of Bletchley Park's Hut Six (German Army and Air Force cipher decryption). Made major contributions to Enigma decryption.
  • Sir Charles Wheatstone, inventor or the so-called Playfair cipher and general polymath.
  • Herbert Yardley, US, best known for his book "The American Black Chamber". Gambler, raconteur, roving cryptographer for hire (eg, Canada, Japan) after MI8 was closed.


See also

External link

ko:암호학자 ja:暗号研究者の一覧