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Applied Cryptanalysis: Breaking Ciphers in the Real World

The book is designed to be accessible to motivated IT professionals who want to learn more about the specific attacks covered. In particular, every effort has been made to keep the chapters independent, so if someone is interested in has function cryptanalysis or RSA timing attacks, they do not necessarily need to study all of the previous material in the text. This would be particularly valuable to working professionals who might want to use the book as a way to quickly gain some depth on one specific topic.

A case-based approach to cryptanalysis that explains how and why attacks can happen

Applied Cryptanalysis focuses on practical attacks on real-world ciphers. Using detailed case studies, the authors demonstrate how modern cryptographic systems are broken, and they do so with a minimum of complex mathematics and technical jargon. All major classes of attacks are covered, providing IT professionals with the knowledge necessary for effective security implementation within their organizations. Each chapter concludes with a series of problems that enables the reader to practice and fine-tune their own cryptanalysis skills. Applied Cryptanalysis can serve as a textbook for a cryptanalysis course or for independent study.

The text is organized around four major themes:

  • Classic Crypto offers an overview of a few classical cryptosystems, introducing and illustrating the basic principles, concepts, and vocabulary. The authors then cover World War II cipher machines, specifically the German Enigma, Japanese Purple, and American Sigaba.

  • Symmetric Ciphers analyzes shift registers and correlation attacks, as well as attacks on three specific stream ciphers: ORYX, RC4 (as used in WEP), and PKZIP. In addition, block ciphers are studied: Hellman's Time-Memory Trade-Off attack is discussed and three specific block ciphers are analyzed in detail (CMEA, Akelarre, and FEAL).

  • Hash Functions presents hash function design, birthday attacks, and the "Nostradamus" attack. Then the MD4 attack is examined, which serves as a precursor for the authors' highly detailed analysis of the recent attack on MD5.

  • Public Key Crypto includes an overview of several public key cryptosystems including the knapsack, Diffie-Hellman, Arithmetica, RSA, Rabin cipher, NTRU, and ElGamal. Factoring and discrete log attacks are analyzed, and the recent timing attacks on RSA are discussed in detail.

Clear and concise, this practical case-based approach to cryptanalysis is a valuable and timely resource.

About the Author

Mark Stamp, PhD, is Professor of Computer Science at San Jose State University. In addition to his experience working in private industry and academia, Dr. Stamp spent seven years as a cryptanalyst for the U.S. National Security Agency. He is the author of Information Security: Principles and Practice.

Richard M. Low, PhD, is Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at San Jose State University. His research interests include cryptography, combinatorics, and group theory.

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