Steganography & covert communications - Between Silk and Cyanide

David Honig honig at
Sun Dec 30 20:33:02 EST 2001

At 02:59 PM 12/30/01 -0800, John Gilmore wrote:

>Along these lines I can't help but recommend reading one of the best
>crypto books of the last few years:
>	Between Silk and Cyanide
>	Leo Marks, 1999
>This wonderful, funny, serious, and readable book was written by the
>chief cryptographer for the 'nefarious organization' in England which
>ran covert agents all over Europe during WW2 -- the Special Operations

One of the more interesting conclusions of Marks is that different
cognitive types require different kinds of instruction in crypto
techniques ---some learned rote behavior, some needed reasons.

One of the more poignant parts of his memoirs is that he knew that
half his pupils would be dead soon after dropping.  

Another is his worries when trying to figure if someone behind
the lines had been compromised (and their directions should not be 
followed) or they are merely forgetful or stressed.  He would refer 
to their records during study, to see the kinds of errors they made, 
to help him decide.

A very very good book.

Unbeknown to the latter, Marks had already cracked General de Gaulle's
private cypher in a spare moment on the lavatory. -from the obit of Leo
Marks, cryptographer



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