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Where could I, a total beginner in crypto-stuff, learn more about this kind of thing? What would be the list of things I'd need to know how to do in order to "break in", and where could I learn how to do them?

One possible starting point is here - http://cryptopals.com

Not so odd, I don't always use nor redirect www either (well I do if it's for a client, but otherwise I usually can't be bothered).

Edit: But I do get 404s when I click the "language-links" on the challenge pages, like http://cryptopals.com/sets/1/challenges/1/ruby. What are those anyways?

Well, it's strange to have a record for the www. subdomain and not do anything with it, like 403 :P

They are Solutions. The C++ one to the first exercise works:


It's probably the only one that works, and it's just a hint (the conversion function is weird btw, it accepts hexadecimal symbols ranging from '0' to 'z'; it actually "decodes" any base from binary to triacontahexadecimal (36)).

Coursera/Stanford have a crypto course going on right now. It's already well under way but you can watch all the videos and (I believe) still do the quizzes and just pass on the certificate. https://www.coursera.org/course/crypto

Crypto is not about breaking in, but breaking codes. It is mostly a bunch of maths.


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