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