Crypto Wiki

See also: Category:Cryptographers for an exhaustive list.

Pre twentieth century[]

  • Al-Kindi, 9th century Arabic polymath and originator of frequency analysis
  • Charles Babbage, UK, 19th century mathematician who, about the time of the Crimean War, secretly developed an effective attack against polyalphabetic substitution ciphers.
  • Leone Battista Alberti, polymath/universal genius, inventor of polyalphabetic substitution (more specifically, the Alberti cipher), and what may have been the first mechanical encryption aid.
  • Giovanni Battista della Porta, author of a seminal work on cryptanalysis.
  • Étienne Bazeries, French, military, considered one of the greatest natural cryptanalysts. Best known for developing the "Bazeries Cylinder" and his influential 1901 text Les Chiffres secrets dévoilés ("Secret ciphers unveiled").
  • Julius Caesar, Roman general/politician, has the Caesar cipher is named after him, and a lost work on cryptography by Probus (probably Valerius Probus) is claimed to have covered his use of military cryptography in some detail. It is likely that he did not invent the cipher named after him, as other substitution ciphers were in use well before his time.
  • Friedrich Kasiski, author of the first published attack on the Vigenère cipher, now known as the Kasiski test.
  • Auguste Kerckhoffs, known for contributing cipher design principles.
  • Johannes Trithemius, mystic and first to describe tableaux (tables) for use in polyalphabetic substitution. Wrote an early work on steganography and cryptography generally.
  • Philips van Marnix, lord of Sint-Aldegonde, deciphered Spanish messages for William the Silent during the Dutch revolt against the Spanish.
  • Sir Charles Wheatstone, inventor of the so-called Playfair cipher and general polymath.

World War I and World War II Wartime Cryptographers[]

  • Lambros D. Callimahos, US, NSA, worked with William F. Friedman, taught NSA cryptanalysts
  • Ludomir Danielewicz, Poland, Biuro Szyfrow, helped to construct the Enigma maschine copies to break the ciphers
  • Alastair Denniston, UK, director of GC&CS at Bletchley Park during World War II
  • William F. Friedman, US, SIS, introduced statistical methods into cryptography
  • Nigel de Grey, UK, Room 40, played an important role in the decryption of the Zimmermann Telegram during World War I
  • Dillwyn Knox, UK, Room 40 and GC&CS, broke commercial Enigma cipher in various situations
  • Solomon Kullback, US, SIS
  • William Hamilton Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell, U.S. National Security Agency cryptologists who defected to the Soviet Union in 1960
  • Leo Marks, UK, SOE cryptography director, author and playwright
  • Georges Painvin, broke the ADFGVX cipher during the First World War
  • Marian Rejewski, Poland, Biuro Szyfrów, a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who, in 1932, solved the Enigma machine with plugboard, the main cipher device then in use by Germany.
  • John Joseph Rochefort, US, made major contributions to the break into JN-25 after the attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Frank Rowlett, US, SIS, leader of the team that broke Purple
  • Jerzy Różycki, Poland, Biuro Szyfrów, helped break German Enigma ciphers
  • Luigi Sacco, Italy, Italian General and author of the Manual of Cryptography
  • Laurance Safford, US, chief cryptographer for the US Navy for 2 decades+, including World War II
  • Abraham Sinkov, US, SIS
  • John Tiltman, Brigadier, UK, GC&CS, Bletchley Park, GCHQ, NSA. Extraordinary length and range of cryptographic service
  • Alan Mathison Turing, UK, Bletchley Park, chief cryptographer Bletchley Park, pioneering logician, and renowned computer scientist, and pioneer
  • William Thomas Tutte, UK, Bletchley Park, broke Lorenz SZ 40/42 encryption machine (codenamed Tunny) using theory carried out using the Colossus computer
  • Gordon Welchman, UK, head of Bletchley Park's Hut Six (German Army and Air Force cipher decryption).
  • Herbert Yardley, US, MI8, author "The American Black Chamber", worked in China as a cryptographer and briefly in Canada
  • Henryk Zygalski, Poland, Biuro Szyfrów, helped break German Enigma ciphers

Other pre-computer[]

  • Rosario Candela, US, Architect and notable amateur cryptologist who authored books and taught classes on the subject to civilians at Hunter College.
  • Elizebeth Friedman, US, Coast Guard and US Treasury Department cryptographer.
  • Claude Elwood Shannon, US, founder of information theory, proved the one-time pad to be unbreakable.


See also: Category:Modern cryptographers for an exhaustive list.

Symmetric-key algorithm inventors[]

  • Ross Anderson, UK, University of Cambridge, co-inventor of the Serpent cipher.
  • Paulo S. L. M. Barreto, Brazilian, University of São Paulo, co-inventor of the Whirlpool hash function.
  • George Blakley, US, independent inventor of secret sharing.
  • Eli Biham, Israel, co-inventor of the Serpent cipher.
  • Don Coppersmith, co-inventor of DES and MARS ciphers.
  • Joan Daemen, Belgian, co-developer of Rijndael which became the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
  • Horst Feistel, US, IBM, namesake of Feistel networks.
  • Lars Knudsen, Denmark, co-inventor of the Serpent cipher.
  • Ralph Merkle, US, inventor of Merkle trees.
  • Bart Preneel, Belgian, co-inventor of RIPEMD-160.
  • Vincent Rijmen, Belgian, co-developer of Rijndael which became the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
  • Ronald L. Rivest, US, MIT, inventor of RC cipher series and MD algorithm series.
  • Bruce Schneier, US, inventor of Blowfish and co-inventor of Twofish.
  • Adi Shamir, Israel, Weizmann Institute, inventor of secret sharing.

Asymmetric-key algorithm inventors[]


Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Ronald Rivest, and Adi Shamir at RSA 2008

  • Leonard Adleman, US, USC, the 'A' in RSA.
  • David Chaum, US, inventor of blind signatures.
  • Whitfield Diffie, US, (public) co-inventor of the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange protocol.
  • Taher Elgamal, US (born Egyptian), inventor of the Elgamal discrete log cryptosystem.
  • Shafi Goldwasser, US and Israel, MIT and Weizmann Institute, co-discoverer of zero-knowledge proofs.
  • Martin Hellman, US, (public) co-inventor of the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange protocol.
  • Neal Koblitz, independent co-creator of elliptic curve cryptography.
  • Alfred Menezes, co-inventor of MQV, an elliptic curve technique.
  • Silvio Micali, US (born Italian), MIT, co-discoverer of zero-knowledge proofs.
  • Victor Miller, independent co-creator of elliptic curve cryptography.
  • Pascal Paillier, inventor of Paillier encryption.
  • Michael O. Rabin, inventor of Rabin encryption.
  • Ronald L. Rivest, US, MIT, the 'R' in RSA.
  • Adi Shamir, Israel, Weizmann Institute, the 'S' in RSA.


  • [(Rev. Robert M. Dailey)], Ohio, US
  • Ross Anderson, UK
  • Eli Biham, Israel, co-discoverer of differential cryptanalysis and Related-key attack.
  • Matt Blaze, US
  • Dan Boneh, US, Stanford University
  • Niels Ferguson, Holland, co-inventor of Twofish and Fortuna
  • Ian Goldberg, US
  • Lars Knudsen, Denmark, DTU, discovered integral cryptanalysis
  • Paul Kocher, US, discovered differential power analysis
  • Mitsuru Matsui, Japan, discoverer of linear cryptanalysis
  • David Wagner, US, UC Berkeley, co-discoverer of the slide and boomerang attacks.
  • Xiaoyun Wang, the People's Republic of China, known for MD5 and SHA-1 hash function attacks.

Algorithmic number theorists[]

  • Daniel J. Bernstein, US, known for battle with US government in Bernstein v. United States.
  • Don Coppersmith, US


  • Mihir Bellare, US, UCSD, co-proposer of the Random oracle model
  • Gilles Brassard, Canada, Université de Montréal. Co-inventor of quantum cryptography.
  • Claude Crépeau, Canada, McGill University.
  • Oded Goldreich, Israel, Weizmann Institute, author of Foundations of Cryptography.
  • Shafi Goldwasser, US and Israel
  • Silvio Micali, US
  • Rafail Ostrovsky, US, UCLA.
  • Charles Rackoff, co-discoverer of zero-knowledge proofs.
  • Phillip Rogaway, US, UC Davis, co-proposer of the Random oracle model.
  • Gustavus Simmons, US, Sandia, authentication theory

Government cryptographers[]

  • Clifford Cocks, UK, GCHQ, secret inventor of the algorithm later known as RSA.
  • James H. Ellis, UK, GCHQ, secretly proved the possibility of asymmetric encryption.
  • Malcolm Williamson, UK, GCHQ, secret inventor of the protocol later known as Diffie-Hellman.

Cryptographer businesspeople[]

  • Bruce Schneier, US, CTO and founder of Counterpane Internet Security, Inc. and cryptography author.
  • Scott Vanstone, Canada, founder of Certicom and elliptic curve cryptography proponent.

See also[]

External links[]


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