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From the reviews:
"Overall, this book provides a historical view of the essential work on the design and analysis of block ciphers. The book is well written and is appropriate for both beginners and experienced readers. Those who want more details about the rationale and philosophy behind block cipher design can use this book as an up-to-date reference." (Zheng Gong, ACM Computing Reviews, July 2012)
“‘The block cipher companion’ is a well written handbook, wholly recommended. An excellent choice of examples and informal language make this handbook an excellent choice for beginners, guiding the reader from simple cipher techniques and cryptanalysis towards more advanced ideas. … Professionals will find the book to be a systematic collection of ideas, and, in particular, a thorough bibliography and a short survey of block ciphers evolution.” (Jerzy Żurawiecki, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1243, 2012)
Block ciphers encrypt blocks of plaintext, messages, into blocks of ciphertext under the action of a secret key, and the process of encryption is reversed by decryption which uses the same user-supplied key. Block ciphers are fundamental to modern cryptography, in fact they are the most widely used cryptographic primitive – useful in their own right, and in the construction of other cryptographic mechanisms.
In this book the authors provide a technically detailed, yet readable, account of the state of the art of block cipher analysis, design, and deployment. The authors first describe the most prominent block ciphers and give insights into their design. They then consider the role of the cryptanalyst, the adversary, and provide an overview of some of the most important cryptanalytic methods.
The book will be of value to graduate and senior undergraduate students of cryptography and to professionals engaged in cryptographic design. An important feature of the presentation is the authors' exhaustive bibliography of the field, each chapter closing with comprehensive supporting notes.