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Foundations of Cryptography: Volume 1, Basic Tools (Vol 1) 1st Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521791724
ISBN-10: 0521791723
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Editorial Reviews


"[Foundations of Cryptography: Basic Tools] presents complexity research which gives the mathematical underpinnings for cryptography; this includes one-way functions, pseudorandom generators, and zero-knowledge proofs...if a reader wants to learn about foundational work, Goldreich's books are the place to go."
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society

Zentralblatt MATH

"Foundations of Cryptography contains what is currently the best published treatment of the formal aspects of modern cryptography and serves as "required reading" for anyone interested in the field... Throughout, definitions are complete and detailed; proofs are rigorous and given in full... Th book remains a "must-read' for all graduate students and researchers interested in this area, and is well-suited for an advanced course. Kudos to the author for publishing the first book which truly covers modern cryptography, and for doing an excellent job of it!"
Jonathan Katz, University of Maryland for SIGACT News

Book Description

Cryptography is concerned with the conceptualization, definition and construction of computing systems that address security concerns. The design of cryptographic systems must be based on firm foundations. This book focuses on the basic mathematical tools needed for for cryptographic design: computational difficulty (one-way functions), pseudorandomness and zero-knowledge proofs. The emphasis is on the clarification of fundamental concepts, and on demonstrating the feasibility of solving several central cryptographic problems. The book is suitable for use in a graduate course on cryptography and as a reference book for experts. The author assumes basic familiarity with the design and analysis of algorithms; some knowledge of complexity theory and probability is also useful.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (August 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521791723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521791724
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,737,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kone Bardea on December 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
We all know what it means for an algorithm to compute a function, but what does it mean for an encryption scheme to be secure? Traditionally, cryptographic schemes were suggested and attacked based on ad-hoc criterias, for lack of a proper theoretical setting. The last two decades have seen enormous progress in this respect. New notions were devised to harness the computational difficulty of problems in a constructive way to achieve security (in various senses) against all adversaries. This enabled the definition of a host of well-defined cryptographic "objects" and investigation of their existence and relations.
The planned 3-volume series aims to provide a thorough presentation of the theory, written by a dominant figure in the field. This first volume introduces the basic notions: one-way functions, pseudorandom generators, various zero-knowledge proof systems and related concepts. Curiously, common cryptographic objects such as encryption schemes and signature schemes are only briefly discussed in an appendix -- the author has chosen to postpone these to the Volume 2 in the interest of in-depth discussion of the simpler objects. Hence this volume does not stand well on its own, and until Volume 2 is published the impatient reader may be disappointed. Fortunately, drafts of Volume 2 are available on-line: [...]
The presentation style is a tour de force of didactic sensitivity. The subject material is often problematic, because the mental gymnastics required are not quite like any other field. The author is fully aware of this, and provides ample intuitive discussion and motivation to help the reader through the more technical parts (without compromising rigorousness).
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book hits some extremes in good and bad. The good is easy: There are few (no?) other books that fill the niche of theoretical cryptography. There are some excellent lecture notes from Bellare and Goldwasser that are available on the web, but they don't go into the detailed motivation of topics that Goldreich does. The topics that Goldreich has chosen cover a lot of important areas, and he has done a great job of pulling out the best, most essential results to present.
However, the bad part is that the writing is simply horrible. There seems to be little planning and things simply don't flow at all. Here's a specific example, which is so bad as to almost be funny: There's a huge use of footnotes for side comments, mostly because of this "stream of consciousness" writing that doesn't work things in properly. The first footnote in chapter 4 says, believe it or not, "See Footnote 13". Huh? So I go digging through the later part of the chapter, looking desperately for this gem of knowledge that will be in footnote 13, and what is it? The definition of a graph! Now come on -- chapter 4 of a book, where we've been dealing with advanced topics in computer science, and they feel the need to define a graph!?!?! Through several levels of indirection in footnotes? Come on guys, what editor let that one through?
Oded is a great computer scientist, and a good guy, but please, PLEASE get a good editor for the other volumes, or maybe even a good writer to team up with!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pedro on September 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book, that you can see some parts on the authors site, is a essencial on everyone desk working on security and cryptography. It is not a book of recipes of how to build a secure cryptographic environment but a fundamental book on the basics of cryptography and cryptographic protocols.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Ghost on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Solid, rigorous but not obscure. The author goes into lots of details and presents long proofs along the way, but the book is supposed to be like that... You will find a rigorous introduction to three concepts: one-way functions, pseudorandom generators and zero-knowledge proofs. Volume II of the book will show how to conceptually build cryptographic tools using these concepts (but he won't present pseudocode or get into implementation details -- that's not the point of his work).
Sections that are difficult and that could be skipped are marked with an asterisk.

One thing the reader should be aware of is that the author strongly opposes to using the "Random Oracle model", so if you want more information on that you'll have to find it elsewhere.

For anyone interested in theoretical cryptography, I'd say this book is absolutely required reading -- I suggest always having it around for reference.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Majid Khonji on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
After reading some of chapters, it seems to me that it is a bit difficult to understand even some easy concepts. The book is rich, but again it lacks of good explanations at some points.
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