H. X. Mel/Doris Baker, 2001
The book seems to be rather ambitious, since the
preface says that it is addressed to any (and therefore
all) audience(s), without any limitation on the stated
purpose. In general, it is an attempt to portray the basic
concepts of cryptography, without getting too far into
technical details. Many other books have tried to do the
same thing, and signally failed. Mel and Baker by and large
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"Internet Cryptography", Richard E. Smith,
According to the preface, this book is aimed at
non-specialists who need to know just enough about cryptography
to make informed technical decisions. As an example, Smith
suggests systems administrators and managers who, while
not formally charged with security, still have to use cryptographic
techniques to secure their networks or transmissions.
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Security and Cryptography", Peter Thorsteinson/G.
Gnana Arun Ganesh, 2004
For an ancient linear/procedural dinosaur like myself, it is interesting to see
the difference between the prehistoric API (Application Programming Interface)
library documentation and the descriptions of the new object-oriented classes.
Older books were full of icky things such as usage syntax and required parameters.
While this work does contain some sample code, generally with comments that merely
repeat what is obvious from the name of the method, most of the material simply
consists of mentioning that the methods and classes exist. I can only wonder
at the marvels of the new age of programming, where everything is so "intuitive" that
correct coding is automatic and inevitable.
Practical Cryptography, Bruce Schneier/Niels Ferguson, 2003
The preface points
out that cryptography has done more harm than good in terms of securing information
systems, not because cryptography fails in and of itself, but, rather, due to
the improper use or implementation of the technology. This book is intended to
provide concrete advice to those designing and implementing cryptographic systems.
As such, it is not the usual introduction to cryptography, and is aimed at a
fairly limited group.