Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C 2nd Edition

131 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471117094
ISBN-10: 0471117099
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cryptographic techniques have applications far beyond the obvious uses of encoding and decoding information. For Internet developers who need to know about capabilities, such as digital signatures, that depend on cryptographic techniques, there's no better overview than Applied Cryptography, the definitive book on the subject. Bruce Schneier covers general classes of cryptographic protocols and then specific techniques, detailing the inner workings of real-world cryptographic algorithms including the Data Encryption Standard and RSA public-key cryptosystems. The book includes source-code listings and extensive advice on the practical aspects of cryptography implementation, such as the importance of generating truly random numbers and of keeping keys secure.

Review

"the definitive publicly available text on the theory and practice of cryptography" (Computer Shopper, January 2002)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 758 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2nd edition (October 18, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471117099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471117094
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist, called a "security guru" by The Economist. He is the author of 12 books -- including "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World" -- as well as hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers. His influential newsletter "Crypto-Gram" and blog "Schneier on Security" are read by over 250,000 people. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, a program fellow at the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an Advisory Board member of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Resilient Systems, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 157 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Bruce Schneier's APPLIED CRYPTOGRAPHY is an excellent book for anyone interested in cryptology from an amateur level to actually being involved in the development of new encryption mechanisms. Schneier's book begins with a simple discussion of what is cryptography, and then he proceeds through the history of various encryption algorithms and their functioning. The last portion of the book contains C code for several public-domain encryption algorithms.
A caveat: this is not a textbook of cryptography in the sense that it teaches everything necessary to understand the mathematical basis of the science. Schneier does not discuss number theory because he expects those who use the relevant chapters of the book will already have training in higher maths. Nonetheless, the book does contain a wealth of information even for the layman.
One helpful part of Schneier's book is his opinion of which encryption algorithms are already broken by the National Security Agency, thus letting the reader know which encryption programs to avoid. There will always be people who encrypt to 40-bit DES even though it is flimsy and nearly instantly breakable, but the readers of APPLIED CRYPTOGRAPHY can greatly improve the confidentiality of their messages and data with this book. Discussion of public-key web-of-trust is essential reading for anyone confused by how public-key signatures work.
APPLIED CRYPTOGRAPHY was published in 1995 and some parts are already out of date. It is ironic that he hardly mentions PGP, when PGP went on to become the most renowned military-strength encryption program available to the public, although it is being superseded by GnuPG. Another anachronism is Schneier's assurance that quantum computing is decades away.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1996
Format: Paperback
Habitues of sci.crypt will be familiar with Bruce Schneier's
*Applied Cryptography*; if any of them have but one text on crypto
for reference, it will almost certainly be *Applied Cryptography*.
It is the de facto standard reference on modern cryptography as
well as serving as an excellent introduction to the subject.

The art is very old - Julius Caesar was the first recorded user of
cryptography for military purposes - and reached a watershed when
computers were put to work in order to break German and Japanese
ciphers. Indeed, that was the first *real* application of electronic
computers. A natural development was the use of computers for the
development of cryptographic systems.

That is where Bruce Schneier's remarkable book begins. It is notable
for two reasons: the breadth and depth of coverage, and the high
standard of technical communication.

As a reference its scope is encyclopaedic, providing descriptions
and assessments of just about every non-military crypto system
developed since computers were first applied to the purpose. There
are also military-cum-government algorithms amongst the collection,
some from the old Soviet Union and others from South Africa. It is
not just an A-Z procession of algorithms; the author progresses
in a logical manner through the many technical aspects of cryptography.

It is common to find that masters of mysterious technical arts are
poor communicators. Bruce Schneier demonstrates exceptional skill
as a technical communicator. Here is a book about an esoteric
subject - one built on a foundation of theoretical mathematics - that
ordinary folk can read.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rothke on November 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Applied Cryptography is quite simply the quintessential guidebook for information about cryptography. It also is one of the finest computer security books ever written. Bruce Schneier is a cryptologist who has a passion for cryptography, and it shows in his masterpiece. Instant classic is an often used oxymoron, yet that term is most appropriate to describe Applied Cryptography. If you have any interest with security and encryption, Applied Cryptography is clearly the definitive publication to reference and the most comprehensive text available about security and encryption. It might sound as if via my high praise for this book that I am getting some type of endorsement, that is not the case. It is just that Applied Cryptography is quite simply the most comprehensive, up-to-date work about cryptography.
The vast array of topics covered by the book is truly astounding in is depth and breadth. There is hardly a single cryptological concept, either minor or major, that the book does not cover. It is not possible to detail everything Applied Cryptography covers. But a few of the topics are: Foundations of cryptography, Protocols, Protocol Building Blocks, Key Lengths, key exchange, key management, Algorithms, the mathematical of cryptography, DES, RSA, One-Way Hash Functions, Symmetric vs. Public-Key cryptography, Public-Key Digital Signature Algorithms, Substitution Ciphers and Transposition Ciphers, Digital Signatures, Random and Pseudo-Random Sequence Generation, PGP, Authentication, Advanced security Protocols, Cryptographic Techniques, Identification Schemes, the politics of cryptography and much (much!) more.
Applied Cryptography also includes the source code for DES, IDEA, BLOWFISH, RC5 and other algorithms.
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