“Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python” Released

My third book, Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python, is finished. It is free to download under a Creative Commons license, and available for purchase as a physical book on Amazon for $25 (which qualifies it for free shipping). This book is aimed at people who have no experience programming or with cryptography. The book goes through writing Python programs that not only implement several ciphers but also can hack these ciphers.

100% of the proceeds from the book sales will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, and The Tor Project.

Each chapter presents a new program and explains how the source code works. At the same time, various ciphers and cryptography concepts are explored. This book covers:

I first started this book two years ago. The Word doc calculates my editing time for the file at 85,860 minutes (not including the time to write and debug the programs). The book is over 400 pages long with over 1700 lines of code written for the programs (not including whitespace and comments).

The book's website is at http://inventwithpython.com/hacking

Feel free to email me questions or comments at [email protected] or leave a comment below.


  1. [...] Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python is a new full-length book on Python programming that uses cryptography as the underlying subject matter. It is available under the Creative Commons noncommercial sharealike license. [...]

  2. I absolutely love the idea of this. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it, I reckon putting out a book is a monumental achievement (and you have three listed here). Congratulations, and thanks.

  3. Congrats on this milestone accomplishment! :)

  4. I’m buying this (and the other two books) right now!

  5. [...] The “Invent with Python” Blog — “Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python” Released. [...]

  6. [...] «Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python» (PDF, HTML) — книга, одновременно знакомящая с программированием на языке Python и криптографией. Книга включает в себя разбор работы многочисленных криптографических приложений, написанных на Python. Текст книги открыт под лицензией Creative Commons by-nc-sa. [...]

  7. Is there any chance for .epub version?

  8. Any plans on publishing an EPUB (the “standard” e-book format, useful for Nooks, iPads, etc) version?

  9. Yes! I’ll be creating a .mobi (and perhaps .epub) version of the book eventually. I’ll try to have it done in the next couple of weeks. (And also fix up the website a bit too.)

  10. [...] Buch “Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python” veröffentlicht. Das 416 Seiten starke Werk gibt es hier zum kostenlosen Download sowie bei Amazon für knapp 21€. Das Buch beinhaltet zunächst eine an [...]

  11. [...] Al Sweigart的第三本著作《Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python》正式发布,作者在创作共用-署名-非商业使用-相同方式共享许可证下免费发布了该书的电子版(PDF和HTML格式),实体版售价25美元,销售所得将全部捐给EFF、创作共用和Tor项目。本书面向的是无编程或加密学经验的读者,介绍用Python编程语言实现和破解多种密码技术,作者从几千年前的凯撒密码一直讲到现代的公钥加密。本书特别献给了今年1月去世的Aaron Swartz。 [...]

  12. If you are interested in this topic, check out http://www.practicalcryptography.com/cryptanalysis/ for similar stuff!

  13. This is a very good book both for learning a new programming language (Python) and for the first steps into cryptography, I personal read it and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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