Codes have been used throughout history to communicate secret plans, and to distribute vital information. The idea behind creating a code is to keep sensitive information private. In American history, George Washington was one of the first leaders to use codes durign a time of conflict. The Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, is famous for creating and breaking codes from all over the world. For more than 3,000 years, people have used the art of cryptography to decipher difficult codes. A CIA cipher uses an algorithm and key to unravel hidden information. This has played a vital role against those who wish to do harm to the U.S.
It takes an intelligent person to crack a code. During the American Civil War, some generals created codes by studying Native American language. They sent written and verbal commands in this language to keep their enemies from finding out their battle plans. This turned out to be a very effective technique during World War 2 as well. German soldiers were not accustomed to this language, and they had trouble breaking the code. Those who do break codes have mathematical minds. They are able to put pieces of the puzzle together to form a plan of attack on the code.
The root of all code breaking begins with the simple cipher. A simple cipher is something you might have experienced during childhood. Secret decoder rings are examples of these ciphers. Substitution ciphers are one of the more simple ones employed. One of the best and easiest to understand, is the Caesar cipher. It is named after the famous Julius Caesar, who used it to send orders to his army. He shifted letters of the alphabet so that they looked like jumbled words. All recipients of his messages owned a key to help them to decode the message. While this type of cipher is simple, it is still very effective in terms of hiding information.
A complex cipher is one that was used by the Germans during World War 2. Theirs was called an Enigma, and it was harder to break this type of code. It was a machine that created messages that were nearly unbreakable. Even though these machines could create nearly 150,000,000,000,000,000,000 outcomes, the Alies were still able to eventually break the codes. This machine was developed by the Dutch to keep banking information a secret. During the culmination of the war, American forces were able to break about 10% of the enigma codes that they encountered. At the time, this was considered one of the more complex examples of codes in action.
Code breaking is an art, and it requires an acute attention to detail. Those who are successful in this field find plenty of work under secret operatives for governments. Some of the best code breakers int he world do not even have college degrees. They simply have a critical thinking mind, and a desire to break the code at all costs. When there is much on the line, a skilled code breaker is an absolute necessity in any situation.