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Cryptography Engineering: Design Principles and Practical Applications 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Learn to build cryptographic protocols that work in the real world
Knowing how a camera works does not make you a great photographer. Knowing what cryptographic designs are and how existing cryptographic protocols work does not give you proficiency in using cryptography. You must learn to think like a cryptographer.
That is what this book will teach you. Dive deeply into specific, concrete cryptographic protocols and learn why certain decisions were made. Recognize the challenges and how to overcome them. With this book, which is suitable for both classroom and self-study, you will learn to use cryptography effectively in real-world systems.
Understand what goes into designing cryptographic protocols
Develop an understanding of the interface between cryptography and the surrounding system, including people, economics, hardware, software, ethics, policy, and other aspects of the real world
Look beyond the security protocol to see weaknesses in the surrounding system
Thwart the adversary by understanding how adversaries think
Learn how to build cryptography into new products
About the Author
Niels Ferguson is a cryptographer for Microsoft who has designed and implemented cryptographic algorithms, protocols, and large-scale security infrastructures.
Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist whose advice is sought by business, government, and the media. He is the author of Applied Cryptography, Secrets and Lies, and Schneier on Security.
Tadayoshi Kohno is a professor at the University of Washington. He is known for his research and for developing innovative new approaches to cryptography and computer security education.
Top customer reviews
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Part One of the book looks at the building blocks of cryptography and security. Block ciphers, hashing, and authentication are covered in depth. Possible attack scenarios are covered as well. The book does an excellent job looking at how to build a secure system and how malicious actors can try and bypass the security.
Common examples uses Alice and Bob in diagrams, and 'Eve' is used to represent eavesdroppers or attackers. The diagrams helped me a lot in understanding some situations.
The mid-sections of the book examine some exisiting cryptographic protocols. The focus in on how they are engineered. While there is some math, the more complex math is left as a reference. I thought this was a good decision by the authors so that the book remained readable and did not get lost in theory.
There is an extensive section on Public Key Infrastructure and managing secret keys. The authors tended to focus more on security concerns in this area.
Generally the book does a great job discussing cryptography and security. The three authors are clearly experts and convey their experience in a single voice throughout the book. If you are looking to build a system with cryptography, definitely get this book.
First of all, if you don't have the 1st edition, this is an excellent buy. It's a "middle ground" book and probably the one you should start with if you are interested in practical cryptography. Then, depending on your interests and needs, you could proceed to a technically and mathematically much deeper (but somewhat obsolete) Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C, Second Edition or to some other direction using the foundation laid down in this book and then getting other book(s) about "hard-core" mathematics of cryptography or about "softer" methods of social engineering and real-life security.
I will now assume you know what the book is all about and that you are considering upgrading it so here are some quick things I hope to help you deciding:
- first of all, obviously, the errata from the 1st edition is incorporated into the text (there is no errata for the 2nd edition yet but keep checking on the book's home page [ [..] ]) which also contains the links from the book so you don't have to type them yourself while investigating
- the algorithms, protocols and formulas look the same but they might have minor tweaks, most of the stuff I looked up is the same as in the 1st edition
- the 2nd edition has 60 pages less and that's because the line spacing is smaller (the text is more dense) and not because some material has been omitted (at least I could not find anything significant being removed)
- one (really small) speculative mathematical subchapter has been removed (4.5.6 in 1st edition: Equation Solving Attacks); I guess the attack/math did not turn out to work
- the new addition to the team of the authors is a university professor and, as a result of that, the book has more of a textbook feel: exercises at the end of each chapter are added and the preface now contains example syllabi subchapter with three course proposals (6, 10 and 12 week) based on the book; it is also mentioned in the preface that the book is now "more suited for a self-study"
- the chapter layout is exactly the same as in 1st edition but off by one since "Our Design Philosophy" from the 1st edition has been presented a bit later as a subchapter of another chapter
- there are more references at the end (130 vs 97)
- minor: the cover is more boring, it really looks and, with the denser text inside, feels like a textbook while the 1st edition looked more like an engineering/hacking book
These are my very first quick and most likely incomplete and biased impressions, I might come back and update the review if I find anything significant.
Most cryptography books focus mostly on math. This book is different - it builds practical engineering understanding of real-world security problems and how cryptography solves it. The is also a little math that helps to understand the algorithms.