Handbook of
Applied Cryptography


Volume 21 Number 2 (April 1997)

Menezes, Alfred J., Paul C. van Oorschot, and Scott A. Vanstone Handbook of Applied Cryptography
CRC Press, Inc., 2000 Corporate Blvd. NW, Boca Raton FL 33431 USA.
1997. 780pp. $79.95.

In the past 20 years, cryptography - especially public-key cryptography - has not only become the subject of a massive amount of research, it has also provided the foundation for information security in many applications. Standards are emerging to meet the demands for cryptographic protection in most areas of data communications and public-key cryptographic techniques are now commonly used in industry, particularly financial services and the public sector, and by individuals for their personal privacy such as e-mail.

The Handbook is an outstanding encyclopedia of "existing cryptographic knowledge of industrial interest in one consistent, self-contained volume." While a handy reference for professional in the field, this definitive reference will also be valuable to university computer scientists and mathematicians, "and provides a comprehensive source from which to learn cryptography, serving both students and instructors."

Virtually all important topics in modern cryptography are covered in the book's 15 chapters: Overview of Cryptography, Mathematical Background, Number-Theoretic Reference Problems, Public-Key Parameters, Pseudorandom Bits and Sequences, Stream Ciphers, Block Ciphers, Public-Key Encryption, Hash Functions and Data Integrity, Identification and Entity Authentication, Ditigal Signatures, Key Establishment Protocols, Key Management Techniques, Efficient Implementation, and Patents and Standards.

Excellent organization of material and numbering of items provide easy access to information which includes: more than 200 algorithms and protocols; more than 200 tables and figures; more than 1,000 numbered definitions, facts, examples, notes and remarks; more than 1,250 references with brief remarks on each paper, and a 25-page index. Over 90 experts in cryptography reviewed chapters in their specialties and extensive notes at the end of each chapter survey relevant available literature. And appendices provide a novel bibliography of all papers published in Asiacrypt/Auscrypt, Crypto, Eurocrypt, and Fast Software Encryption conferences and the Journal of Cryptology.

In his Foreword, Professor Ronald L. Rivest call this Handbook "a major contribution to the field of cryptography ... a rigorous encyclopedia of known techniques that are both (believed to be) secure and practically useful ... [It is] both a self-contained tutorial and an indispensable desk reference."

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