Cryptography is a theory of secret functions. Category theory is a general theory of functions. Cryptography has reached a stage where its structures often take several pages to define, and its formulas sometimes run from page to page. Category theory has some complicated definitions as well, but one of its specialties is taming the flood of structure. Cryptography seems to be in need of high level methods, whereas category theory always needs concrete applications. So why is there no categorical cryptography? One reason may be that the foundations of modern cryptography are built from probabilistic polynomial-time Turing machines, and category theory does not have a good handle on such things. On the other hand, such foundational problems might be the very reason why cryptographic constructions often resemble low level machine programming. This paper presents some preliminary explorations towards categorical cryptography. It turns out that some of the main security concepts are easily characterized through diagram chasing.

Read original article by Dusko Pavlovic.