BKAPCRYP.RVW 960610
"Applied Cryptography", Schneier, 1996, 0-471-11709-9, U$49.95/C$64.95
%A Bruce Schneier schneier@chinet.com schneier@counterpane.com
%C 22 Worchester Road, Rexdale, Ontario M9W 9Z9
%D 1996
%G 0-471-11709-9
%I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O U$49.95/C$64.95 800-263-1590 fax: 800-565-6802 800-CALL-WILEY
%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471117099/robsladesinterne
%P 784
%T "Applied Cryptography"
For anyone who wants to study cryptography, you can save yourself a
lot of time and effort by getting Schneier's book. From the simple
Ceasar cipher to RSA and beyond, there is nothing the book doesn't at
least touch on. Protocols, techniques, algorithms, and even source
code are included. A "Real World" section looks both at specific
implementations and at the politics of encryption.
Schneier notes that his work is *not* a mathematical text. It is
difficult to say how much of a shortcoming this is for any given
reader, but a safe bet is "not much". For those who do need more
rigorous treatments of specific topics, the bibliography lists almost
two thousand references, all of which are described and cited within
the book text at some point. Source code in C is available for the
DES, LOKI91, IDEA, GOST, BLOWFISH, 3-Way, RC5, A5, and SEAL
algorithms.
He also states that the encyclopedic nature of the book detracts from
its readability. Not so. The work is both encyclopedic *and*
readable. Schneier has done marvelously well with what is normally a
dead and dry topic. His examples are ludicrously absurd--and
therefore lucid and memorable. (He even uses Monty Python's immortal
phrase, "My hovercraft is full of eels" in one illustration.)
As course text, research basis or just a (serious) hobbyist's
reference, this work is highly recommended.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1994, 1996 BKAPCRYP.RVW 960610