The following definitions are from Terminology Beginner Cheat Sheet for Cryptography Definitions, in Jason Fagone's The Woman Who Smashed Codes: a True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies (Dey Street Books, Harper, 2018).
Learn definitions of common cybersecurity terms.
A fixed relationship between one set of symbols or ideas and another.
A rule for altering the letters in a message. Usually it involves a one-to-one exchange: one letter gets replaced with one other letter, or a digit
You can think of codes and ciphers as different sorts of locks that protect words, like a padlock protects money in a safe
A catchall term for a string of garbled text, solution unknown. It can be generated by a code or a cipher.
The security professionals who make the locks and keys.
The thieves who try to pick the locks without having the keys.
The broad science of codes and ciphers-making them, breaking them, studying them, [and] writing about them.
Our interns reflect on their research
"...women & specifically women of color contributed to code-breaking even in its earliest stages."~ Alexandra Schrader-Dobris, Lead research intern
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- Caracristi, Ann. Wilma Zimmerman Davis 1913-2001. In Memoriam , 2002.
- Cryptologic Pioneers: The African American Experience. Invisible Cryptologists > National Security Agency Central Security Service > National Security Agency.
- 1885: Cryptologic Pioneer Genevieve Young Hitt Was Born. National Cryptologic Museum Foundation.
- Fagone, Jason. The Woman Who Smashed Codes. Dey Street Books, Harper,2018.
- Farley, R.D. Oral History Interview with Mrs. Wilma Davis,"National Security Agency, 3 December 1982. Retrieved on 1 March 2018.
- Farley, R. D. Oral History Interview with Ann Caracristi NSA-OH-15-82. Other. NSA , July 16, 1982
- Kahn, David. The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. 1967. Print.
- Hagen, Carrie. The Coast Guard's Most Potent Weapon During Prohibition? Codebreaker Elizebeth Friedman. Smithsonian.com. Smithsonian Institution, January 28, 2015.
- Johnson, Kevin Wade. The Neglected Giant: Agnes Meyer Driscoll. Center for Cryptologic History, Special, 10 (n.d.).
- Minnie McNeal Kenny. National Security Agency Central Security Service. Accessed February 11, 2021.
- Quinn, Ruth. An Army Wife ‘Doing Her Bit’ in World War I, The Story of Genevieve Young Hitt. The U.S. Army , 31 Mar. 2014,
- Sewell, Leslie. Interview with Ann Caracristi. Other. Experiencing the War: Stories from the Veteran's History Project. Veteran's History Project, n.d.
- Sherman, David. Ann's War, One Woman’s Journey to the Codebreaking Victory over Japan. United States Cryptologic History, Special, 14 (2019).
- Smoot, Betsy Rohaly. Pioneers of U.S. Military Cryptology: Colonel Parker Hitt and His Wife, Genevieve Young Hitt. Federal History, vol. 4, 2012, pp. 87–100.
- Wilhelmena Ware. National Security Agency Central Security Service. Accessed February 15, 2021.
- Williams, Jeannette, and Yolande Dickerson. The Invisible Cryptologists: African Americans, WWII to 1956. Vol. 5, Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency, 2001.
- Vera Shoffner Russell. National Security Agency Central Security Service. Accessed February 12, 2021.
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