Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The Handbook of Applied Cryptography

An excellent reference on the subject, well worth its weight in gold, and available online for all to read for free! If there's one shortcoming of the book worth mentioning, it is that, having last undergone major revision in 1996, it gives no coverage of the latest developments in the field (e.g. AES or the newest ECC research). Still, mastering all the material in here will take one a pretty darned long way, and at this price there's really not much for anyone to complain about.

The Handbook would probably work best as a second look at the subject for someone who's already gone through Bruce Schneier's Applied Cryptography, which provides a far less mathematically demanding treatment of the subject matter. Although there are no proofs in the Handbook, it does presume some acquaintance with abstract algebra, number theory, probability and information theory, one that cannot really be obtained just by reading through the theorems stated as givens in Chapter 2.

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