Applied Cryptography, 2nd Edition by BruceSchneier. (1996)

http://www.counterpane.com/applied.html

This book explains modern cryptographic algorithms and systems. Both public-key and secret-key (conventional) algorithms are discussed at length. Applied Cryptography is probably the best single reference book for a programmer interested in cryptography--many of the systems even come with source code in C.

From the preface at http://www.counterpane.com/ac2preface.html"";:

- There are two kinds of cryptography in this world: cryptography that will stop your kid sister from reading your files, and cryptography that will stop major governments from reading your files. This book is about the latter.

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Whitfield Diffie [One of the inventors of public-key cryptography]

**Part I: Cryptographic Protocols**
Ch. 1: Foundations
Ch. 2: Protocol Building Blocks
Ch. 3: Basic Protocols
Ch. 4: Intermediate Protocols
Ch. 5: Advanced Protocols
Ch. 6: Esoteric Protocols

**Part II: Cryptographic Techniques**
Ch. 7: Key Length
Ch. 8: Key Management
Ch. 9: Algorithm Types and Modes
Ch. 10: Using Algorithms

**Part III: Cryptographic Algorithms**
Ch. 11: Mathematical Background
Ch. 12: Data Encryption Standard
Ch. 13: Other Block Algorithms
Ch. 14: Still Other Block Algorithms
Ch. 15: Combining Block Algorithms
Ch. 16: Pseudo-Random-Sequence Generators and Stream Ciphers
Ch. 17: Other Stream Ciphers and Real Random-Sequence Generators
Ch. 18: One-Way Hash Functions
Ch. 19: Public-Key Algorithms
Ch. 20: Public-Key Digital Signature Algorithms
Ch. 21: Identification Schemes
Ch. 22: Key-Exchange Algorithms
Ch. 23: Special Algorithms for Protocols

**Part IV: The Real World**
Ch. 24: Example Implementations
Ch. 25: Politics

Afterward by Matt Blaze [One of the best modern cryptosystem implementors.]

If you actually want to understand modern cryptography, rather than treating it as a magical black box, this book is an excellent place to start. It is rather light on mathematics and theory, but it explains in practical terms what is possible and not-yet-possible. --CliffordAdams

Readers may also be interested in the more recent book SecretsAndLies, in which Schneier explores the limits of cryptography in real-world systems.

[CategoryBook] [CategoryCryptography]