New Information on the Inventor of the One-Time Pad
Seems that the one-time pad was not first invented by Vernam:
He could plainly see that the document described a technique called the one-time pad fully 35 years before its supposed invention during World War I by Gilbert Vernam, an AT&T engineer, and Joseph Mauborgne, later chief of the Army Signal Corps.
The 1882 monograph that Dr. Bellovin stumbled across in the Library of Congress was "Telegraphic Code to Insure Privacy and Secrecy in the Transmission of Telegrams," by Frank Miller, a successful banker in Sacramento who later became a trustee of Stanford University. In Millerâs preface, the key points jumped off the page:
"A banker in the West should prepare a list of irregular numbers to be called 'shift numbers,'" he wrote. "The difference between such numbers must not be regular. When a shift-number has been applied, or used, it must be erased from the list and not be used again."
It seems that Vernam was not aware of Miller's work, and independently invented the one-time pad.
Posted on August 3, 2011 at 12:57 PM • 22 Comments