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Learning cryptography through handcyphers

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For many people cryptography is something that they consider too complicated. But actually one can understand the principles very well if they only try. By looking at old handcyphers used for coding one can begin to understand modern cryptography. There is still a magical mist surrounding cryptography that is still regarded as being complex and impossible to comprehend. So people shy away from exploring their options with the technology that has many useful purposes. This is actually sad, since cryptography is the cornerstone of computer security and a good cure against the ever continuing erosion of civil rights. So the technology cannot be missed and hackers should actually embrace it. Learning to understand it isn't that difficult after all. In order to understand the principles we'll go back in time to see the evolution of modern cryptography. We focus on on handcyphers that can be used without a computer and have grown in complexity throughout time even tough some early mechanisms are still in use today. Over the centuries hackers have made great contributions by cracking the algoritms and stimulated us to improve security by patching flaws. The presentation will show us many different ways of making an algoritm and help us become critical users or even better coders. The session will help people become acquinted with cryptography and is a good learning experience. It will not be groundbreaking in the sense that any new hacks will be shown. However it will be fun to be at. Please state if you are going to submit a paper to be included in the 22C3 Proceedings : If you people want to yes, but I wasn't planning it yet. Please state if you are going to use slides in your talk and in which format you are going to provide a copy : OpenOffice.org so OOO, PPT or PDF format will be present

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