Second Edition

with a foreword by Ron Rivest

Heavily revised and updated, the long-awaited second edition of Understanding Cryptography follows the unique approach of making modern cryptography accessible to a broad audience, requiring only a minimum of prior knowledge.

This must-have book is indispensable as a textbook for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses, as well as for self-study by designers and engineers.

Ron Rivest

(Cryptographer, recipient of the Turing Award and co-inventor of the RSA algorithm)

“[…] I recommend this book highly for both undergraduate and graduate classroom use; it can easily be augmented for students with a more theoretical orientation. This book is also recommended for self-study, for anyone who wishes to bring themselves up-to-date on where this exciting field is going.

About the Book

Understanding and employing cryptography has become a central requirement for securing virtually any digital application, whether user app, cloud service, or even medical implant.

After introducing basic cryptography concepts, this seminal textbook covers nearly all symmetric, asymmetric, and post-quantum cryptographic algorithms currently in use in applications — ranging from cloud computing and smart phones all the way to industrial systems, block chains, and cryptocurrencies.

Topics and features

  • Helps develop a comprehensive understanding of modern applied cryptography
  • Provides a thorough introduction to post-quantum cryptography consisting of the three standardized cipher families
  • Includes for every chapter a comprehensive problem set, extensive examples, and a further-reading discussion
  • Communicates, using a unique pedagogical approach, the essentials about foundations and use in practice, while keeping mathematics to a minimum
  • Supplies up-to-date security parameters for all cryptographic algorithms
  • Incorporates chapter reviews and discussion on such topics as historical and societal context

About us

The authors have more than 20 years’ experience teaching cryptography at various universities in the US and Europe. In addition to being renowned scientists, they have extensive experience with applying cryptography in industry, from which they have drawn important lessons for their teaching.

Christof Paar

Founding director at the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy in Bochum, Germany, and affiliated professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Prior to joining the MPI, Christof was with the Ruhr University Bochum (2001-2019) and WPI in Massachusetts (1995-2001). He spent the academic years 2008/09 and 2014 – 2016 as a research professor at UMass Amherst. He received a Ph.D. in engineering from the Institute for Experimental Mathematics at the University of Essen in 1994.

His research lies in the area of embedded security. His group is currently working on hardware Trojans, technical and cognitive aspects of (hardware) reverse engineering, physical layer security and the security of cyber-physical systems. He is one of the spokespersons of the Excellence Cluster CASA – Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries.

Jan Pelzl

Professor for Computer Security at the Applied University of Hamm-Lippstadt, Germany and independent IT-Security Consultant

Before becoming a professor, he was Managing Director of ESCRYPT – Embedded Security, a leading security consultancy company and subsidiary of Bosch. He has successfully managed numerous national and international industry projects, and has a deep insight into security needs in the real world.

As a researcher, Dr. Pelzl had investigated practical aspects of elliptic curve-based cryptography and cryptanalysis. He has published extensively about his theoretical and industrial work at leading international conferences and journals. Dr. Pelzl holds a Ph.D. in applied cryptography from the Ruhr University Bochum. He is independent consultant for industrial security for many years and focusses on security in automation and embedded systems.

Tim Güneysu

Pro­fes­sor at the Chair for Se­cu­ri­ty En­gi­nee­ring at the Ruhr Uni­ver­si­ty Bo­chum, Germany and Pro­fes­sor/Se­ni­or Re­se­ar­cher at the Ger­man Re­se­arch Cen­ter for Ar­ti­fi­ci­al In­tel­li­gence (DFKI)

Tim received a PhD in Elec­tri­cal En­gi­nee­ring and In­for­ma­ti­on Tech­no­lo­gy from the Ruhr Uni­ver­si­ty Bo­chum in 2009. From 2011 – 2015 he was As­sis­tent Pro­fes­sor of the Hard­ware Se­cu­ri­ty Group in Bochum and spent 2015 – 2017 as As­so­cia­te Pro­fes­sor for Com­pu­ter En­gi­nee­ring and IT-Se­cu­ri­ty at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bre­men

Tim’s primary research topics are in the secure design and implementation of (embedded) systems, including aspects such as long-term secure cryptographic implementation, the design of security layers/architectures and related aspects of hardware-based security. Tim published and contributed to more than 95 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications in the area of applied security and cryptography.

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