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on 11 December 2007
I used this book for a course on modern cryptography held by Prof. Persiano of the University of Salerno, Italy.
I read, consulted, and studied other books about cryptography, but 'INTRODUCTION TO MODERN CRYPTOGRAPHY' by Katz and Lindell is in my humble opinion THE BEST.
The book has a theoretical flavor, it is mathematically rigorous, but it is very readable and fluent, and presents the motivating discussions beneath each topic.
The book is fully self-contained, and gives the necessary background for each topic (for example there is a lot of basic computational number theory necessary for introducing the topic of 'public key').
The beauty of the book is in that the authors don't present a collection of protocols, with no links each other, but the flow is sequential and motivated (in contrast to books which present topics only for filling the pages).
All the theorems are proved and the treatment is rigorous, but the theory is developed from scratch, and the book is oriented to beginner students, though it presents also advanced stuff and is one of the most advanced book for beginners.
The main contents of the book are:

1) Perfect security and Shannon's theorem (information theoretic security)
2) Computational security, indistinguishability, CPA
3) Pseudorandomness
4) One-way functions, hard-core predicate, Levin's theorem
5) Message Authentication Codes
6) Costructions of Pseudorandom objects, AES, Substitution-Permutation networks
7) Relation between Private-Key, one-way functions and pseudrandomness.
8) Number theory for the cryptography
9) Computational number theory, factorization, square roots,discrete log,diffie-hellman problems
10) Public key, goldwasser-micali, el gamal, pallier, hybrid encryption, encryption schemes based on trapdoor permutations
11)Digital Signature Schemes
I wrote only some topics of the book following my taste, but the books contains much more.
The complete table of contents for this book is on the web site of the authors.
The exercises left to the end of each chapters are good, and vary from easy to hard.

I advice this book to everyone who wants start the study of modern cryptography from a theoretic and rigorous point of view.
After you read Katz and Lindell i suggest you to read "Foundations of Cryptography" by Goldreich, but it is too advanced and its reading requires you already read Katz and Lindell.
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on 19 April 2009
This is a fantastic book, it was mandatory reading as part of my Masters in Information Security. I found it invaluable in understanding this seemingly 'mind-bending' subject.

I've bought numerous books on Crypto - however, this is the only one I've found that gets the balance between the maths and core principles/motivations spot on! I can't recommend this book enough, IMHO it's essential reading if you're pursuing a career in Information Security.
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on 3 November 2013
It does not include all the specification's details, but there are rigurous explanations about almost everything related to cryptography. It has really helped me in a MSc degree.
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on 14 December 2014
fantastic book for crypto student
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on 28 June 2015
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on 3 February 2012
The book is really slow in explaining things! I use it just because I should do for my module! it's really complex at the same time.. there are many other which I think are much more better for the field!
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