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I am a junior in high school and I am currently studying algebra 2. Where can I go to learn about the mathematics behind cryptography? I have a very basic knowledge of cryptography, but I am really interested in things like, why is a 2^256 bit cipher so secure? I would really like to learn about things like that so I can learn to make my own and analyze other ciphers.

Are there any good books or websites where I could learn about cryptography from a mathematical perspective?

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Speaking from my own experience, Nigel Smart's book Cryptography: An introduction is a good place to start. I would say that you can read and understand it without any prior knowledge of cryptography at all. It is also free.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks that book is great! It may be a little too complicated for my knowledge of mathematics, do you have anything simpler in mind? $\endgroup$ – Harrison Rankin Dec 16 '15 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ This one is even more basic: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Code_Book but it is not covering much of the math $\endgroup$ – Carl Löndahl Dec 16 '15 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ A Friendly Introduction to Number Theory by Joe Silverman is a superb book for a college student. Parts of the book are freely available at math.brown.edu/~jhs/frint.html $\endgroup$ – user94293 Jun 10 '16 at 5:43

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