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on May 1, 2001
Scientists have found a direct correlation between books on cryptography and a loss of consciousness. This book, however, managed to actually keep me out of a book coma and teach me a little something about crypto. The book seems very organized in the sense that it establishes the basics as a foundation and builds upon them. So if you're a newbie to crypto, you can follow along fairly easily. Or if you're a bit more cryptographically nerdy (and I mean that in the kindest sense,) there are the math theories, sample code, etc. The balance between the two seems to even out pretty well, making the book very helpful for both levels (and even those in between like myself). Particularly helpful are the comparisons of algorithms (pros & cons of each based on performance, security, interoperability, etc.) and the breakdown of the security protocols. There's a terrific overview of PKI (hot topic) that covers all the basics, not to mention the RSA Labs FAQ on CD comes with the book if you really want to immerse yourself in technical concrete. Overall, due to the excellent simplicity of complex concepts and the authors' ability to delve into the meat as appropriate, I give this book a 5.0 on the Richter scale. Well done!
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on June 4, 2001
A fantastic book for the IS professional interested in learning more about cryptography. This book is one of the better-written books I have read in a long time. The authors keep the content flowing without bogging you down in a lot of high-level mathematical theory or techno garbage. From history to the concepts behind different algorithms, the book presents the pros and cons of many different technologies. My one fear was that it would be nothing more than an advertisement for RSA's products. I couldn't have been more incorrect. I started this book on a two-hour flight, and five chapters into it I actually didn't want to put it down. A great read with lots of information.
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on March 8, 2002
This is a MUST HAVE book, I have not been able to put it down! the other engineers that I work with are so impressed by the attention to detail and clarity that they are also ordering this as I write. For anyone implementing high level security this is the best all around book I have picked up. The info in the appendix sections would be worth buying alone! It gives Technical leaning/learning folks a great primer (and I learned a lot from it too). If you are looking to clarify security models/risks buy this book!
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on April 18, 2009
I have some basic idea on cryptography and security. Based on the title, I was excited to read some book that is from RSA press (RSA is one of the leading cryptography related companies). However, the book sounds more like a marketing pitch and some ideas are just thrown at you. The first two chapters are good for a person new to security. The drawbacks of password based security are described in a concise manner. I was expecting some brief overview (understandable to a common man) on some cryptography concepts. However, after reading the book the only take home idea is "use cryptography", with no more insight or information. I was expecting more, at least from RSA Press. The author just says that we need cryptography and there are companies and certification agencies.
The title "official guide to cryptography" is very misleading.

There are a lot of good books to tell us the need for cryptography (e.g. Secure Coding by microsoft) and I would not recommend this book.
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on January 10, 2003
A good book that combines the expressions of a Mathematician: Burnett and an Engineer: Paine.
The book is descriptively very good with images that today in day is necessary to understand the theoretical ideas better.
The chapters two, three four contain the most didactic description and with an efficient theoretical profile.
RSASecurity made well in publishing this book as official guide as much as makes CISCO with their books.
It is necessary to stand out that they exist other books of RSA that explain particular details about PKI and IPSec, however the book of Burnett and Paine it is distinguished by the clarity of the exposed topics.
I agree with the chapters eight, nine and ten, although they should expose a little but about the kindness of the protocol SET.
It is a very good book that I recommend for those who want to know about the applied cryptography.
A final recommendation: it is certain that today in day the topic of the telecommunications has come being developed with more peak in the world, and although it is certain, the great majority of the books it defines aspects linked to the nets of computers, it is not necessary to leave aside the nets of cellular telephony and the security of the telecommunications, you that it exists now for example RSA Mobile.
For the side of the content of the CD, it is excellent because it offers us information in files pdf of aspects itemized in cryptography.
Lastly, the algorithm I find RSAOAEP that it should be more extended, with more examples and bigger covering, however its inclusion in the book is the appropriate one.
Very good support of RSASecurity to the world.
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on May 19, 2014
This book is an excellent resource for RSA Security (as a guide),
and provides the reader with lots of resources and examples.
-- Thanks!
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on January 24, 2015
Nice. Guides you in the to the world of cryptography nice!
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