RSA Security's Official Guide to Cryptography

Overview

Want to keep your Web site safe? Learn how to implement cryptography,the most secure form of data encryption. Highly accessible,and packed with detailed case studies,this practical guide is written in conjunction with RSA Security—the most trusted name in e-security(tm). Part of the RSA Press Series.

Learn how cryptography works—from the leading authority in e-security. Cryptography is one of the smartest ways to protect the information on your network and reduce the risk of ...

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Overview

Want to keep your Web site safe? Learn how to implement cryptography,the most secure form of data encryption. Highly accessible,and packed with detailed case studies,this practical guide is written in conjunction with RSA Security—the most trusted name in e-security(tm). Part of the RSA Press Series.

Learn how cryptography works—from the leading authority in e-security. Cryptography is one of the smartest ways to protect the information on your network and reduce the risk of security breaches and attacks from hackers. And because implementing cryptography is a complex process,you need the practical advice and proven techniques contained inside this official guide. Written by insiders at RSA Security,this expert resource explains the differences between symmetric-key and public-key cryptography,how PKI and X. 509 affect security,how the RSA algorithm works within protocols,and much more. You'll also read actual case-studies detailing different types of security vulnerabilities and what types of cryptography applications would prevent attacks.

This book will show you how to:

  • Distinguish different types of symmetric-key encryption algorithms and know where each is best used
  • Find out how password-based encryption works
  • Communicate safely over unsecure channels using public-key technology
  • Use public-key technology for authentication and non-repudiation
  • Get details on current PKI standards and technology—including vendor information
  • Understand X. 509 certificates and directory structures
  • Get an operational overview of widely-used protocols—including IPSec,SSL,and SET
  • Recognize how corporations use cryptography toimprove security through real-world case studies
  • View cryptography from different perspectives—corporations,developers,and users
  • Effectively use digital signatures and hardware solutions—smart cards,tokens,key storage devices,and more

Improve security and protect your company's information with the most authoritative guide to cryptography available.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
There are several things we especially like about RSA Security's Official Guide to Cryptography.

First and foremost, we appreciate its clarity and accessibility. Steve Burnett and Steve Paine don't bury you in algorithms; rather, they offer straightforward, to-the-point explanations of what each security technology does, and how they fit together.

Over the years, these authors have explained key distribution and public key infrastructure often, and they've learned how to explain them exceptionally well. We also like the book's detailed introductions to today's security protocols, at the network layer (IPSec), transport layer (SSL), and application layer (S/MIME and SET).

We like the book's thorough chapter on avoiding the limitations of software by utilizing hardware-based approaches -- including specific, hard-to-find information on products and vendors.

And we especially like the two full chapters of security case studies, written from the perspective of corporations, developers, and end-users. One focuses on success stories, the other on "companies doing it wrong." Between the two, you'll find all the role models (and cautionary tales) you need to get cryptography right, the first time. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant and writer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072131390
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 3/29/2001
  • Series: McGraw-Hill Computer Security Series
  • Pages: 419
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Burnett With degrees in math from Grinnell College in Iowa and The Claremont Graduate School in California, Steve Burnett has spent most of his career converting math into computer programs, first at Intergraph Corporation and now with RSA Security. He is currently the lead crypto engineer for RSA's BSAFE Crypto-C and Crypto-J products, which are general purpose crypto software development kits in C and Java. Burnett is also a frequent speaker at industry events and college campuses.

Stephen Paine Stephen Paine has worked in the security field throughout most of his career-formerly for the United States Marine Corps and SUN Microsystems. He is currently a systems engineer for RSA Security, where he explains security concepts to corporations and developers worldwide and provides training to customers and RSA employees.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Why Cryptography

"According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, the Secret Service began investigating this matter when it learned that there had been unauthorized access to [online brokerage] accounts of several [anonymous company] employees. One (anonymous company) employee told authorities that approximately $285,000 had been drained from his [online brokerage] account when an unknown person was able to access his account by calling the online broker and providing a name and social security number. It was later determined that at least eight [anonymous company] employees had been victimized this past spring, and that these eight had lost a total of $700,000 from their stock accounts . . . [anonymous company] officials revealed that while working in the financial department, [the accomplice] had access to confidential employee information such as social security numbers and home addresses.

If someone tells you, "I don't need security. I have no secrets, nothing to hide," respond by saying, "OK, let me see your medical files. How about your paycheck, bank statements, investment portfolio, and credit card bills? Will you let me write down your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers? What's the PIN for your ATM, credit card, or phone card? What's your password to log on to the network at work? Where do you keep your spare house key?"

The point is that we all have information we want kept private. Sometimes the reason is simply our natural desire for privacy; we would feel uncomfortable if the whole world knew our medical history or financial details. Another good reason is self-protection-thieves could use some kinds of information to rob us. In other words, the motives for keeping a secret are not automatically nefarious.

Corporations also have secrets-strategy reports, sales forecasts, technical product details, research results, personnel files, and so on. Although dishonest companies might try to hide villainous activities from the public, most firms simply want to hide valuable information from dishonest people. These people may be working for competitors, they might be larcenous employees, or they could be hackers and crackers: people who break into computer networks to steal information, commit vandalism, disrupt service, or simply to show what they can do.

Security Provided by Computer Operating Systems

In the past, security was simply a matter of locking the door or storing files in a locked filing cabinet or safe. Today, paper is no longer the only medium of choice for housing information. Files are stored in computer databases as well as file cabinets. Hard drives and floppy disks hold many of our secrets. How do you lock a hard drive?

How Operating Systems Work

Before we talk about how computer data is protected, let's take a brief look at how computers get and store information. The usual way to access data on a computer or network is to go through the operating system (OS), such as DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT, MacOS, UNIX, Linux, Solaris, or HP/UX. The OS works like an application, taking input, performing operations based on the input, and returning output...

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Why Cryptography?
Chapter 2: Symmetric-Key Cryptography.
Chapter 3: Symmetric-Key Management.
Chapter 4: The Key Distribution Problem and Public-Key Cryptography.
Chapter 5: The Digital Signature.
Chapter 6: Public-Key Infrastructures and the X.509 Standard.
Chapter 7: Network and Transport Security Protocols.
Chapter 8: Application-Layer Security Protocols.
Chapter 9: Hardware Solutions: Overcoming Software Limitations.
Chapter 10: Digital Signatures: Beyond Security.
Chapter 11: Doing It Wrong: The Break-Ins.
Chapter 12: Doing It Right: Following Standards.
Appendix A: Bits, Bytes, Hex, and ASCII.
Appendix B: A Layman's Guide to a Subset of ASN.1, BER, and DER.
Appendix C: Further Technical Details.
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