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    Timelines – Cryptography

    Ancient TimesSimple Substitution Ciphers (e.g. Caesar)These are the earliest types of ciphers, where characters in a message are shifted or substituted with other characters. This was used for secret military or political communication.
    Middle AgesTransposition and Advanced SubstitutionAs societies needed more secure communication, letter shuffling (transposition) and advanced substitution (e.g. Vigenère) were introduced.
    Early Modern PeriodMechanical Encryption MachinesThe evolution of technology saw the creation of mechanical machines for encryption. Notably the Enigma machine, which used rotating disks to scramble messages in complex ways.
    World War to Cold WarElectromechanical EncryptingInvolves a combination of electrical and mechanical processes to encrypt information. A more complex level of cryptography, making it harder to decipher without the exact keys and settings.
    Late 20th CenturySymmetric Key Algorithms (e.g. DES, AES)The key used to encrypt a message is the same key that decrypts it. This brought about the digital age of cryptography, enabling secure electronic communications.
    Late 20th Century to PresentAsymmetric Key Algorithms (e.g. RSA, DH, ECC)A pair of keys are used: one public key to encrypt the message, and a corresponding private key to decrypt it. This has become the foundation for secure online transactions.
    PresentQuantum CryptographyWith the dawn of quantum computing come both threats and possibilities. Quantum cryptography aims to use the principles of quantum mechanics to establish more secure cryptographic systems.