Cryptography and Network Security (4th Edition) 4th Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131873162
ISBN-10: 0131873164
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4 edition (November 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131873164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131873162
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CompEngGradStudent on April 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
OK, this book has received prizes and stellar reviews here and elsewhere but personally I didn't like it very much. First, the text and the exercises lack mathematical depth. There are entire chapters, such as the one on AES, which add hardly anything to the official standard, and the book explanation is often harder to understand, and especially more ambiguous than the official standard of the protocols it is supposed to explain.

On the other hand, it is a relatively "polished" book, without too many errors or typos. Most of the time, it gives gives enough information to implement the algorithms it talks about. But it certainly doesn't give you enough to become a cryptographer, or to evaluate the security of a new algorithm, or things like that.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By rbt_austin on October 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There has never been a more poorly written book, to my knowledge. The subject matter is fascinating and it is hard to imagine a less well-executed explanation of this material. It is difficult to count how many times that concepts are introduced and explained with statements that begin "It is obvious that..." - I've got news for the author, not much of those things are obvious, and smaller books explain the same material in much clearer and accessible language. I personally prefer the writings of Bruce Schneier on the subject. The rough thing is, the professor of the class I'm taking picked this for the textbook... I've had to download errata, search out information online, and buy other books to try to cover the material. One of the exercises is to brute-force attack a misprinted encrypted message, and one has to know to go to the author's website to download the corrected ciphertext. That totally sucks in an $80 book.
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Format: Hardcover
Stallings presents an updated education on cryptography. With a secondary emphasis on network security. In the cryptographic sections, there is a strong mathematical flavour. The narrative is not a high level, management-type discussion. It favours the professional mathematician and programmer, and ideally the intersection of these two skill sets.

Unlike some other books on cryptography, here considerable space is also given to hash functions. These can sometimes be used as an alternative to a full encrypt/decrypt approach. If you are designing a system, you should ponder carefully whether a hashing approach might suffice. Usually if you only need to authenticate a message or item. Since, as the book relates, for all the complexity of the various hash algorithms, hashing is far simpler and faster than public key encryption. And there is no problem with key revocation. Another great simplification.

The book covers the latest work on hashing. It appears that the 160 bit hash methods, like SHA-1, can now have collisions induced, as found by researchers at Tsinghua University. (Though the text doesn't appear to credit them.) Suggesting a migration to longer bit methods or to a more intricate method.

One surprising feature of this 4th edition is that PKI is mentioned here, unlike earlier editions. PKI has been around long enough and is important enough that I would've thought the 3rd edition of the book would have covered it.

The last sections of the book, on network and system security, are less mathematical. But to offset this, as it were, they require somewhat of a background in understanding the Internet Protocol and in the systems administration of a subnet of computers. Maybe the simplest advice to understand and implement is for a sysadmin to install and regularly run a password checker against the users' passwords.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Prof WuZhai on November 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An easy to read book on cryptography and security. Stallings illustrates concepts well, with lots of examples. If you're after mathematical depth, this book is not for you. This book is more about high level ideas and concepts.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By devguy on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is terrible. I am forced to read it for class and it's simply awful. If you want to learn cryptography get 'Applied Cryptography' by Bruce Schneier.
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