By now, there are loads of books on cryptography. But if you’re looking for a book on how cryptography can be integrated with the Internet, you want Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure on the Internet by Klaus Schmeh.
Unlike most crypto books, this one covers the full range of Internet crypto technologies and standards: not just SSL, IPSec, HTTPS, and S/MIME, but also PGPS, SET, HBCIS, DNSSec, SKIP, and many more.
Unlike most, Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure on the Internet thoroughly considers the Internet’s vulnerabilities, and where crypto fits as a solution. Unlike most authors, Schmeh discusses how crypto fits into each OSI layer, from Layer 1 crypto extensions for ISDN and PPP all the way up to Layer 7 Privacy Enhanced Mail and Internet payment systems. He even covers crypto for SNMP network management and SAP R/3 ERP systems.
You’ll learn when to use crypto hardware, and when to use software. You’ll even find practical introductory chapters on both smart cards and biometrics -- topics rarely addressed in crypto books, but increasingly prominent in Internet and network security.
Of course, as per the title, there’s comprehensive coverage of public key infrastructures. There’s a highly readable overview of how PKI works; the components of a PKI system; trust models; digital certificates and certificate management; standards; and a whole lot more.
Schmeh provides up-to-date references to the field’s most important organizations, technical resources, and web sites. He concludes with a quick look at the encryption industry, including a no-nonsense take on crypto flops, myths, and “snake oil” -- not to mention “Murphy’s 10 laws of cryptography.” Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.