Understanding Cryptography: A Textbook for Students and Practitioners by Christof Paar (PDF)



Ebook Info

  • Published: 2010
  • Number of pages: 390 pages
  • Format: PDF
  • File Size: 2.57 MB
  • Authors: Christof Paar


Cryptography is now ubiquitous – moving beyond the traditional environments, such as government communications and banking systems, we see cryptographic techniques realized in Web browsers, e-mail programs, cell phones, manufacturing systems, embedded software, smart buildings, cars, and even medical implants. Today’s designers need a comprehensive understanding of applied cryptography.After an introduction to cryptography and data security, the authors explain the main techniques in modern cryptography, with chapters addressing stream ciphers, the Data Encryption Standard (DES) and 3DES, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), block ciphers, the RSA cryptosystem, public-key cryptosystems based on the discrete logarithm problem, elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC), digital signatures, hash functions, Message Authentication Codes (MACs), and methods for key establishment, including certificates and public-key infrastructure (PKI). Throughout the book, the authors focus on communicating the essentials and keeping the mathematics to a minimum, and they move quickly from explaining the foundations to describing practical implementations, including recent topics such as lightweight ciphers for RFIDs and mobile devices, and current key-length recommendations.The authors have considerable experience teaching applied cryptography to engineering and computer science students and to professionals, and they make extensive use of examples, problems, and chapter reviews, while the book’s website offers slides, projects and links to further resources. This is a suitable textbook for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses and also for self-study by engineers.

User’s Reviews

Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:

⭐I came across this book on accident. I was googling around for articles by Preneel and found this book, in which he wrote the foreword. Frankly, I hope this book eventually replaces most, if not all of the mainstream texts on cryptography. My only complaint about this book is that I no longer feel like one of the rare geniuses that thoroughly and completely understands cryptography. Thanks to this book, any dummy off the street can understand cryptography nearly as well as I do and they do not need a computer science or math degree. No prerequisite knowledge is required, other than the ability to read but there is plenty of math if you want to study it. (Warning: I might be exaggerating a little. I really enjoy math and might be taking my math skills for granted. Just so I am clear, this is a Math textbook, which means the encryption algorithms are formally defined using math notation. However, the author’s explanation of the math & algorithms is the most clear and easy to understand I have ever seen; which to me means, you do not need a strong background in mathematics to understand this material.)The following categories are scored 1-10. 1 being the lowest, through 10, the highest…- Readability (i.e. authors style of writing, is he to the point, write clear, how does he approach the topic, does he motivate, etc…)Score: 10I personally do not care for analogies in cryptography books. If the author knows what he is talking about and can explain it, there is absolutely no need for stupid analogies. Another thing that drives me crazy is authors that “challenge you to think” too much. They can never get to the point and come right out and tell you something. Half the time, I can’t figure out if they actually either do not know what they are talking about, or they simply do not know how to explain something and hide it behind a series of challenging questions…which they themselves cannot answer(as if to be objective or something). Frankly, I am a professional with over 10 years of experience. I do not buy books so that authors can beat around the bush with their knowledge; which, by the way, I find condescending, because they are supposed to be the experts. When I pay money for a technical book, I do it with the expectation that the author is knowledgeable, qualified to write about the topic, and will not waste my time playing mind games with me. That is what is so surprising about this book; it clearly says “textbook” on the cover, which made me hesitate, thinking… maybe this is too elementary, or like many college textbooks, challenges you to think too much. However, contrary to my concerns, this book is to the point and carefully explains details that other authors seem to miss. In addition, it is very practical coverage and still challenging enough to be motivational, in other words, you do not have to drink twelve cups of coffee just to get through it. To summarize this section, at this stage in my career, I really appreciate authors that can “thoroughly explain things in the fewest possible words, while still being crystal clear!” (Apparently, this is something I myself cannot do, as evidence above, but that is why I do not write books)- OrganizationScore: 10I have many cryptography books that talk about critical aspects of the encryption processes in isolation without tying them together; this book is very well organized in that respect.- Real world Application (i.e. is this how it works in the real world or is this just theory that never gets used in practice)Score: 9This is another category that makes this book stand out because the coverage is very practical.- Thoroughness (i.e. how rigorous is the book, is it a comprehensive review of technologies)Score: 7Great Introduction to many areas!- Application & Implementation on Computer (i.e. code, algorithms, data-types, programming language tips/tricks…etc)Score: 5Most books attempt to provide code but the code is based on static input and is poorly written, leaving you to wonder, why on earth they even bothered to try. Actually coding algorithms is not the focus of this book… I don’t think it contains one line of code, but you can encrypt and decrypt, end-2-end on paper, if you want to, after reading it. As I mentioned earlier, this is a math book, so the algorithms are presented in mathematical notation………….Edit: I have to add a disclaimer to this review. I originally read this book when I was knee deep in research and loved this book so much because the author tied together some concepts in such a concise explanation. This book is definitely a five star book but now that my initial excitement has worn off I think that some of my claims above may have been overinflated. I would recommend that the reader is comfortable with at least advanced algebra and discrete math. Sorry, I think I drank too much coffee before writing this review. Bottom line, this is not a detailed comprehensive book on cryptography, this is a short, concise, math based explanation about selected topics. The point that I was trying to make is not that this is a thorough book, but this is a high quality explanation of selected topics.

⭐If you’ve heard people mention things like ECC, HMACs, discrete logarithms and wanted to what they were talking about; or if you wanted to understand who RSA and AES really work along with many other things, then this is the book for you.I had been hunting for something more current than the 1996

⭐when I came across Understanding Cryptography. I could tell from the available samples and the table of contents, that it should meet my needs. It has not only met my needs, but has exceeded them in every respect.This book was absolutely perfect for me, so it would be of some use for you to know my background.I’ve long had an interest in cryptography but never any training. When I read Martin Gardener’s famous 1977 article on RSA I thought it was the coolest thing ever, but I didn’t fully grasp it and didn’t pursue it at the time. In college I studied some math, but my degree is in linguistics, not in math or computing. I have read popularizations of cryptography, and had tried to make it though Applied Cryptography when it first came out in 1996, but I can’t say that I really understood how the algorithms and the more intricate protocols worked. So that is roughly my background.One of the great things about Understanding Cryptography is that it taught me exactly the math that I needed. You need to be comfortable learning new math. (I also found that I had to brush up on basic linear algebra on my own to understand one component of the deals of AES).Working though this book on my own through self study took time. It is extremely well presented (with the possible exception of the final chapter, which could do with another round of copy-editing). The subject matter is not simple, so if you really wish to understand them you need to go through things very slowly, stopping frequently to check understanding, but everything you need is in the book without it being overly long. The excellent organization and presentation of the material means that I was able to get far, far more out of this book than anything else I have read on the topic.The problem sets at the end of each chapter progress from easy to more challenging. I still need to go back and take on some of the more challenging ones I skipped the first time through. Often I was too eager to get to the new chapter than to work through the problems. As a consequence I missed some of the extended material that was presented through those problems sets.Personally, my second favorite chapter is the chapter on AES which really steps through how it works and why each component does what it does. My favorite is the chapter on ECC. I had known wat ECC was used for, but before reading this, I had no idea of what it really was. Now I find it “the coolest thing ever”. (OK, I may over use that phrase.) The authors’ presentation of it is just right. They lead you though the process so that you can share in the delight of how ECC works.Although I have worked though this as complete self-study, I would have preferred to do this as part of a class or at least some study group. Sometimes because I could have more quickly gotten through things that I held me up a few times, but mostly because I would have liked to share the experience. My wife and daughter are not entirely happy with the fact that I’ve been trying to teach them bits of what I’ve been learning over the month.There are still bits that I don’t fully understand. Some are questions not addressed in the book, but the further readings and bibliography are excellent. So I have the resources to investigate those. There are also bits that I don’t fully understand because I haven’t gone back and worked through the relevant exercises in the problem sets.What I would like to see in a second addition:(1) A bibliography for each chapter as well as the comprehensive one at the end(2) A reworking of the final chapter, which appears rushed and not as well presented as everything else(3) More on hash functions reflecting what is being learned now as part of the SHA3 process.I am sure that this makes an outstanding textbook for a college course in the matter, but I want to add that it is so clearly presented, organized with introductions to the necessary math that it works for self-study as well.

⭐This is a textbook for a 1 or 2 semester work on cryptography. It has lots of exercises and math. It is very comprehensive and not a quick or easy read. The latter is not a reflection on the author. It is just that the subject matter is not easy and not familiar to most people, so it will take some time to a good feel for the subject matter. Another good book that I have used for many years is “Applied Cryptography” by Bruce Schneier.If you wish to explore more about cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology, you must have a good understanding of cryptography.Very good but lots of math.

⭐Theory combined with examples and applications from a practical engineers point of view. All the videos are on Youtube and these videos are a must supplement to this text. For each discussion of a given cryptosystem design, there is a discussion of how to crypto analyze (break or attack) “that” cryptosystem (cryptanalysis). Prerequisite for this book is some very basic abstract algebra, cyclic groups, modular math, and some basic number theory. Written for engineers who want to design or break cryptosystems.

⭐This book needs to be read in conjunction with Paar’s lecture series on Youtube.com: by itself it sometimes lacks sufficient detail to be a stand alone text book. Notwithstanding this I am very pleased with my purchase.

⭐I had follow the cryto course on Youtube sometime its hard to understand the principle (for me at least) until I follow it in a book. Cryptography is very hard anyway I am still working my way through the book. very very good companion to the YouTube series.

⭐This book is fantastic, subjects I thought I knew well (I obviously didn’t). I don’t have a maths background, but seemed to just about grasp what was being described.Highly recommended.

⭐Great stuff. See his lectures on You Tube that go with the book.

⭐Useful book, clearly presented. Arrived quickly and safely. Happy customer.


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