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Cryptology (the science of secrets, from Greek) is the general term that encompasses both cryptography (the study of techniques for keeping secrets) and cryptanalysis (codebreaking, acquiring secrets without authorisation). The field has a long and interesting history, see History of cryptology.

Cryptology provides the scientific background for a broad range of activities in signals intelligence and information security.

Based on Claude Shannon's definition of Information theory as the study of "communication in the presence of noise", Ron Rivest wrote: "Cryptology is about communication in the presence of adversaries"[1].


  1. Ronald Rivest, Cryptology