Cryptography: fact; fiction; and Da Vinci
Cryptography has never been as much in the news as in recent years. Books and films on Enigma and Bletchley -some more accurate than others -reached a large audience. But this has been dwarfed by the Da Vinci phenomenon. Incidentally, the book’s heroine, Sophie Neveu, studied cryptography at Royal Holloway – presumably under Professor Fred Piper, though this is not in the book.
At an every-day level, the security of Internet shopping, banking, and cash machines is based, at least in part, on cryptography. In fact this applies to the whole edifice of domestic and international money transmission, banking, finance and trade. At stake is not only the privacy and authenticity of transactions but-and this is at least as important – also the identity of the transacting parties.