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As someone who is completely new to cryptography and knows very little, where would you recommend I start? I've recently been reading about bitwise operations to become familiar with how to (somewhat) interpret what a cryptograhic algorithm is doing in a program, since bitwise operations seems to be popular in almost all crypto algorithms.



I would highly recommend reading Cryptography Engineering [0] cover to cover. It's amazingly readable, covers the basics, the theory necessary to understand how things works and includes ample practical advice and observations on the industry.

The first thing I did after the Snowden leaks was read through the entire thing and after doing so I really wished I had done this years earlier. There's very few books that I think should be required reading across the board for software engineers, but this is one that I do think everyone writing code should read every page of.

[0] http://www.amazon.com/Cryptography-Engineering-Principles-Pr...


I don't. This book recommends, say, MAC-then-Encrypt and tries to justify it in 2010 by perpetuating FUD about provable crypto (proofs are only valid if your primitives are ideal, therefore you should worry about--one set of--risks that you can't measure, so trust us instead of proofs). There's no excuse for doing that.

In general, the authors seem to subscribe to "crypto is black magic" school of thought, which doesn't make for good pedagogy.


Dan Boneh's free "Crypto 1" on coursera. A new session will be starting on the 30th of June. I've taken it myself and this is hands down one of the best MOOCs (and class overall) I've ever taken.


I agree, "Crypto 1" was excellent! On Coursera's website, in the upcoming section, it says that "Crypto 2" starts in 3 months. I hope that's true!


It hasn't been the last, oh... four times or so?


It was indeed an excellent course and for any would-be participants I recommend buffing up on discrete mathematics and number theory already if they're not your strong suit.

I found the course pretty hard as programmer with a strong interest in crypto, but no formal CS/maths background. The coding pieces were fairly straightforward, but the maths hurt.


The Crypto 101 ebook [1] has been discussed a bit on HN [2]. It was submitted by tptacek, who had positive things to say about it.

It is in my "summer reading" pile.

[1] https://www.crypto101.io/

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7430946


The free cryptography courses at Coursera. I have seen the videos uploaded somewhere, maybe you can find them.




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