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Decrypted Secrets: Methods and Maxims of Cryptology [Hardcover]

F.L. Bauer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Dec 1996 3540604189 978-3540604181
Cryptology, for millennia a "secret science", is rapidly gaining in practical importance for the protection of communication channels, databases, and software. Beside its role in computerized information systems (public key systems), more and more applications inside computer systems and networks are appearing, which also extend to access rights and source file protection. The first part of this book treats secret codes and their uses - cryptography. The second part deals with the process of covertly decrypting a secret code - cryptanalysis - where in particular advice on assessing methods is given. The book presupposes only elementary mathematical knowledge. Spiced with a wealth of exciting, amusing, and sometimes personal stories from the history of cryptology, it will also interest general readers.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Springer (16 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3540604189
  • ISBN-13: 978-3540604181
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 16.4 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,490,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"the best single book on cryptology today" David Kahn, author of the classic, "The Codebreakers"

From the Back Cover

Cryptology, for millennia a "secret science", is rapidly gaining in practical importance for the protection of communication channels, databases, and software. Beside its role in computerized information systems (public key systems), more and more applications within computer systems and networks are appearing, which also extend to access rights and source file protection.
The first part of this book treats secret codes and their uses - cryptography. The second part deals with the process of covertly decrypting a secret code - cryptanaly-sis - where in particular advice on assessing methods is given. The book presupposes only elementary mathematical knowledge. Spiced with a wealth of exciting, amusing, and sometimes personal stories from the history of cryptology, it will also interest general readers.
"Decrypted Secrets" has become a standard book on cryptology. This 3rd edition has again been revised and extended in many technical and biographical details.
"The best single book on cryptology today" (David Kahn, Cryptologia)
"For those who work actively with cryptology this book is a must. For amateurs it is an important dictionary which in many cases will guide them to make their ciphers more secure." (Arne Fransen, International Intelligence History Study Group) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A technical guide covering the simplest code and ciphers up to recent computer base algorithms. This is a two-part guide, the first covering different classes of code, their history, construction and mathematical analysis. The second part covering various techniques to analyse and break the ciphers. These are not quick fix type breaks but scientific methods for attacking an essentially mathematical problem.
A recommended read for anyone wanting a more indept and less historical look at this topic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A carry-around 28 Jun 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A "carry-around" is a book you find so precious, that you have to take it everywhere with you - even the bath. Books can be obsessive, and this book thoroughly deserves to be someone's obsession. I spent several months digesting its contents, useful if you are writing a cryptographic program, as I was at the time. In its historical research it is first rate with surprising and novel examples, which both delight and instruct. As a mathematician, I was able to deal with the mathematical approach.... even so the writing becomes less accessible when the writer lets his mathematical side have full sway. It's thorough, meticulous and precise. It's the kind of book, which banishes the need for any other book of its kind.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not everybody's cup of tea 6 Mar 2014
By bertie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There's some very detailed mathematical formulae for aspects of cryptography that most other authors are quite happy to explain in words. I get the impression that it's all the familiar stuff, but with the presentation artificially cranked up to justify it becoming a university course for student credit.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I don't often give 5 stars, and it certainly isn't the kind of silly-headed "I've got a new book!" exuberance I've seen so often on Amazon reviews, be sure of that. Fact is, I still haven't completely read this book. I started, quickly got stuck, and gave up. That was almost a year ago. Hey, I'm a talentless cyberpunk wannabee, cryptology is required reading, right?
So I drifted along reading other, easier, books about programming, operating systems, computer security and the like ...until recently my girlfriend gifted me "The Code Book", by Simon Singh. Pure popular science hokum, of course, but a very jolly read nonetheless, and it (specifically the cryptanalysis challenge at the end) re-ignited my earlier, misguided, fascination.
"Decrypted Secrets" (subtitled "Methods and Maxims of Cryptology") is divided into two parts: firstly cryptography, starting with simple concepts, getting mathematical very quickly and proceeding to harder things. I still get stuck in here, but I assure you it's really very precise and thorough. It looks it anyway. The second half is on cryptanalysis - the main reason I dusted it off - and once you get rolling in it all makes good sense. I shan't go on. Let me conclude, though, by saying that I am certain "Decrypted Secrets" provides an ideal technical complement to the history provided by David Kahn's "The Codebreakers". Erm, which I also haven't finished. High praise though. I think. Yes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 19 Mar 2001
By Victor A. Vyssotsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book, and relatively inexpensive; Springer-Verlag has done it again.
Rather than being a dry recitation of encryption and cryptanalysis schemes, Bauer provides a great deal of information about what actually goes wrong when one tries to construct a cipher that must be used under pressure by non-cryptologists, with plenty of historical examples to illustrate his points. And he discusses at some length the ways in which cryptanalysts can hope to unravel ciphers and codes too strong to be broken by standard methods. Much of what he has to say I had never seen in print before; some of it was brand new to me. Perhaps it helps that Bauer is German, and doesn't have to write with the uneasy feeling that NSA or MI-6 is looking over his shoulder at every line he writes. For example, his explanation of how Robert Murphy compromised an American cipher in WW II so badly that the Germans could read it easily is one that I think some American officials would probably still prefer not to have in print.
Despite comments by other reviewers and by Cryptologia, I think it requires a certain mathematical sophistication to absorb much of the material in this book. The math is not hard, but Bauer implicitly assumes a mathematical mindset and a familiarity with the terminology of pure mathematics that most college undergraduates don't have. So I wouldn't choose it as the primary text for a first course in cryptology, but I would certainly use it as a supplementary text. I know of no other book that contains so much material on the practical realities of cryptology.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mathematically very rigorous but still very readable 20 Oct 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is the best book I have found so far on mathematical cryptology. Although the author does a fairly sketchy treatment of DES and IDEA compared to some other books out there, I feel that he makes up for it by placing all of the most common cryptographic systems in the context of a coherent and rigorous mathematical framework. Many other cryptology books fail to tie all the various cryptographic methods together using the powerful tools of modern mathematics. Dr. Bauer's text however, leaves no question in the student's mind where all the techniques fit into the theoretical framework. The second half of the book is also a pleasant surprise: a very readable but mathematically rigorous explanation of cryptanalysis. The author presents a number of statistical methods of attack that are difficult to find all in one place in the open literature. Dr. Bauer does a thorough job of explaining and augments the theory with many examples. This thorough treatment of cryptanalysis distinguishes his book from many other books on cryptology. Many authors of cryptology books pay lip-service to Kerckhoff's maxim (Only a cryptanalyst can judge the security of a crypto system.) but few bring the student enough cryptanalytic knowledge to even begin to evaluate the crypto systems presented in their books. Dr. Bauer does an excellent job of balancing cryptography with cryptanalysis. I highly recommend this book for any serious student of Cryptology. It is a real gem.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Modern Textbook 23 Jun 2000
By Jim Curry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read this book in the original German (even though reading in German is still a labor for me), and the effort was amply rewarded. This book is a first course in cryptography, at the upper undergraduate or beginning graduate level. Its competition would be books like Denning's or Beker and Piper or Koblitz' series. Denning's book is still great and worth buying (and Ms. Denning is a wonderful, accomplished, and intelligent person), but Bauer is more modern and complete. Koblitz' books are all first rate, but Bauer stays on the task of cryptology much more exactly and usefully. This is the basis of an excellent course in several German universities, especially in Munich. If I taught another course purely on cryptography (and not as part of a larger math curriculum---where Koblitz' book is best), I would certainly use this as the text. However, even though this is best, I really think everyone should still buy, read, and treasure Ms. Denning's book, Cryptology, too. (A true classic is never actually superseded.) Buy Bauer. It is better than an existing classic. While I don't have the English version yet, and cannot, therefore, vouch for the quality of the translation, I think that Springer Verlag is such a reliable editor that we can both trust that the translation will be good before we even see it.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly Neat Book! 17 Feb 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book makes a good technical companion to Kahn's historic treatment in 'The Code Breakers'. It covers the technology up through the advent of computers. Its treatment is technical, going into details about how an encryption technique is performed, and how it is attacked. This book is the first place where I've seen the Enigma machine described in enough detail to understand how it works (or they worked since there were many variations and many of them are discussed here), and how to actually build (or simulate) one. It's a big book, and I carried it around for months, sometimes just diving into a chapter or topic. I loved it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting technical information but history's weak 22 July 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book is full of very good and interesting technical information. The part on cryptanalysis is rather new and informative. The history part is mostly taken from Khan's book (you'll find some pictures in both) so there is nothing really new in this area
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