Handbook of Applied Cryptography

This is a discussion on Handbook of Applied Cryptography within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Recently I've become a lot more interested in Cryptogrpahy, and would really like to start learning more about it. Has ...

  1. #1
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Handbook of Applied Cryptogrpahy

    Recently I've become a lot more interested in Cryptogrpahy, and would really like to start learning more about it. Has anyone read the above book? Is it any good? The full thing is available here, if you're interested:

    http://cacr.math.uwaterloo.ca/hac/

  2. #2
    B26354 Deckard's Avatar
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    I have not read the book you mentioned, but I can recommend "Applied Cryptography (Second Edition)" by Bruce Schneier (John Wiley & Sons, Inc). Mr Schneier also has a worthwhile mailing list, which you can receive by sending a blank email here: crypto-gram-subscribe@chaparraltree.com

    [edit]
    The link insisted on placing "http://" before the "mailto:"
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    Last edited by Deckard; 03-11-2002 at 09:41 AM.
    Jason Deckard

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    I've seen things about Schneier's book before, but one of the reviews on Amazon said some largish portions are out of date. Is that a big problem?

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    B26354 Deckard's Avatar
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    I instinctively rejected the notion that the book was out of date, but I went to Amazon and read the reviews. I have to admit that some of the criticism is founded.

    Specifically, the book is over 700 pages, of which two are used to describe the Clipper chip. The critique that his review of the chip is dated is probably accurate, but in all fairness the author simply cites Clipper as an example. However, another critique I noticed was the author's failure to mention PGP. On the contrary, the author not only mentions PGP but does a good job explaining it in detail.

    What you can expect from this book (should you decide to go with it) is an explanation of crypto theory that takes up 260 pages. The author then discusses, in detail, every crypto method I have ever heard of, as well as a dozen or so more. The book ends with a chapter on the politics involved with crypto, from the NSA to NIST and CAFE. An appendix contains C source code examples of DES, LOKI91, IDEA, GOST, BlowFish, 3-Way, RC5, A5, and SEAL.

    This book is, in my opinion, a wealth of information about crypto programming. If it falls into any category, it would be 'Too Much Information' . However, this book is not for the person who would like to enjoy a casual understanding of cryptography, nor is it much of a "quick reference".
    Jason Deckard

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    I haven't read the Handbook of Applied Cryptogrpahy myself, but I people told me it's the bible for cryptography.

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    Fingerstyle Guitarist taylorguitarman's Avatar
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    I've read bits and pieces, but it's very mathematical.
    I bought "Applied Cryptography" by Schneier and I've found it much easier to get through (I'm currently reading it).
    I would recommend both books though.
    If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Well, I ordered Schneier's book from Amazon and the HAC is sitting, zipped, in my mailbox... Guess I'm gonna be pretty busy soon

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    >I've read bits and pieces, but it's very mathematical.

    Yep, cryptography is a lot of mathematics. But it's required to understand why cryptography works.

    >Guess I'm gonna be pretty busy soon

    I think so, good luck!

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