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|Ch. 1||Introduction to cryptology||1|
|Pt. 1||Classical cryptology||15|
|Ch. 2||Classical monoalphabetic ciphers||16|
|Ch. 3||Classical polyalphabetic ciphers||36|
|Ch. 4||Classical polygraphic ciphers||67|
|Ch. 5||Classical transposition ciphers||85|
|Pt. 2||Contemporary ciphers||103|
|Ch. 6||Stream ciphers||104|
|Ch. 7||Block ciphers||132|
|Ch. 8||Public key ciphers||183|
|Ch. 9||Key management, digital signatures, hash functions, and certificates||221|
|Pt. 3||The future of cryptology||267|
|Ch. 10||Quantum cryptography||268|
The goal of this book is to introduce you to the fascinating world of cryptography. It is a multifaceted world--for some, it is a world of spies and secrets. For others, it is a world of mathematics and computers. Anyway you look at it, cryptography has an air of mystery and adventure. It also transcends traditional academic disciplines. It is not just a computer-science topic--the study of cryptography involves history, political science, engineering, languages, military science, ethics, mathematics, and technology. No single text could cover cryptography from all these perspectives, so the true student of cryptography must be prepared to develop a broad educational background. This book will only serve as the starting point for a long and satisfying search for knowledge and understanding of this very complicated, yet rewarding, topic.
Two overall principles guided the writing of this book. The first is that cryptography did not begin with the invention of the computer. While contemporary ciphers are all computer based, they owe a lot to the early work of the developers of classical ciphers. These developers had to work by hand using paper and pencil to discover weaknesses in the classical ciphers. Without the aid of a computer or even a calculator, they had to train their minds to recognize patterns and to organize data. Hence, to learn how to "think" like a cryptographer, you need to understand and appreciate the cleverness and patience that underlie the classical systems.
The second guiding principle is that a course in cryptography is not (and should not be) a programming course. While it may be helpful for students to write one or two programs that implement acipher or an analysis tool, the time it would take learning how to write and debug code for all the important ciphers and tools would significantly reduce the time available to learn the real substance of cryptology. The task of writing cipher programs should be part of an algorithms or programming course. Hence, this book comes with a software package, Cryptographic Analysis Program (CAP), that provides access to both classical and contemporary ciphers. It also contains a set of tools for the analysis of those ciphers. The combination of the text and the software will give you real hands-on experience.
Beginning students, hobbyists, and advanced students should find something worthwhile in this text and its accompanying software program, CAP Part One covers classical issues in cryptography and is a good place for those new to the field to begin their study. More advanced students may want to quickly scan this part for information on running CAP and perhaps spend more time on those classical ciphers or analysis techniques that are unfamiliar. Part Two covers contemporary ciphers including stream, block, and public key systems. This is the section that the more advanced students will find most useful. Part Three considers the future of cryptography and provides a short introduction to quantum systems. The world of quantum computing is so strange that it challenges our view of how the universe operates. This section is really for those who can abandon all common sense, be they beginning or advanced students.
There is a Web page for this book, which can be found at plu.edu/~spillmrj. (Follow the CAP pointers.) It contains a set of PowerPoint files which are designed for lectures. Instructors also have access to answers to the problems in the book as well as additional problems and test questions.
The single most unique feature of this text is the accompanying software package, CAP. Together, CAP and the text are designed to create a complete learning environment. As you read about a particular cipher system, CAP allows you to explore the operation of that system. As you study an analysis technique, CAP allows you to experiment with it. CAP implements 30 different ciphers following a standardized interface so that once you become familiar with the implementation of one cipher you can easily run all the ciphers. CAP also provides a wide range of analysis tools that allow you to test the resistance of most CAP ciphers to cryptanalysis and to discover weaknesses that may be exploited in those ciphers. The usefulness of CAP is reflected in the problems at the end of each chapter. The problem sets are unique and, at times, challenging because they rely on your access to CAP Above all, CAP is fun. It comes with a game feature so you can continue to test your cryptographic skills after you complete the text material. The CAP website (previously referenced) will contain additional challenges and post readers' high scores (if you will send in your game scores).
I hope you find the study of cryptography as interesting and rewarding as I found the writing of this book.
RICHARD J. SPILLMAN
Pacific Lutheran University
Posted June 19, 2006
Spillman makes the good point early in this book that cryptology is not restricted to the current computer era. Prior to computers, many ingenious classical schemes were devised. And the successful cryptographer had to develop an intuition without the aid of a fast computer by her side. Accordingly, Spillman splits his narrative into 3 parts. The first is on classical methods, starting with the Caesar cipher. All these could and were first done without computers. The second part involves only computer-based ciphers. Notably the public key systems first and still foremost embodied by RSA. He also goes into important related ideas like one way hash functions explaining the 2 most important, MD5 and SHA-1. Readers should note carefully that if they are faced with a problem where hashing is adequate, instead of needed a full encrypt and decrypt cipher, then they should use hashing. It is far simpler, since it does not involve issues of key management and revocation. And hashing is usually quicker than a full cipher, which is another important advantage. Also worth noting is that the book comes with a CD of custom code. This is called CAP by the text. It is a program that lets you encipher and decipher text that you can input. There is a choice of ciphers, as described in the book. Neat way to avoid some of the tedious low level computational steps. It lets you concentrate on understanding a cipher at a higher level.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.