'Codebreakers' Author on the Undecipherable

Email a Friend
From and

In 1999, the body of 41-year-old, high school dropout Ricky McCormick was discovered in a St. Charles County, Missouri cornfield. There were no weapons, no motives, no suspects in the case. The only clue investigators had were two hand-written documents found in the pockets of the victim's pants, a scrambling of letters that read like an encoded message.

After more than a decade, the FBI still has not been able to crack the code and now they've enlisted the help of the public. But thousands of submissions later, even the best cryptologists among us are stumped. For a closer look, we hear from David Kahn, author of "The Codebreakers: The First Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet." David Kahn says his favorite code is the "one time code." This type of encryption is impossible to crack, and depends on a secret and random key.