CrypTool cryptography e-learning program extended
The German CrypTool project, founded in 1998, has released Version 1.4.10 of its open source cryptography e-learning software for Windows. In addition to bug fixes and some minor improvements, some notable additions include an e-learning program for the fundamentals of number theory, Flash animations on Advanced Encryption Standard and the Enigma cipher machine, and a demonstration of the addition of real and discrete elliptic curves. In order to view the latter, Java runtime environment must be installed on your computer.
Project coordinator Bernhard Esslinger of the University of Siegen admitted to heise Security that operating the software under the Wine Windows emulator is increasingly causing problems and is no longer recommended. Linux and OS-X users therefore should wait for the forthcoming Version 2.0, which according to Esslinger is being developed in Java, so it should run on any operating system that supports the Java run-time environment.
CrypTool offers a range of input screens and demos that illustrate the mechanism and theoretical fundamentals of a multitude of cryptographic algorithms and methods including RSA, Rijndael, and Diffie-Hellman. The software avoids the need for extensive knowledge of mathematics, so it should be comprehensible to a wide audience. The initiators of the CrypTool project include Deutsche Bank, the University of Siegen and TU Darmstadt.