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Malicious Cryptography: Exposing Cryptovirology Paperback – Feb 27 2004
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“The authors of this book explain these issues and how to fight against them.” (Computer Law & Security Report, 1st September 2004)
From the Back Cover
"Tomorrow’s hackers may ransack the cryptographer’s toolkit for their own nefarious needs. From this chilling perspective, the authors make a solid scientific contribution, and tell a good story too."
–Matthew Franklin, PhD Program Chair, Crypto 2004
WHAT IF HACKERS CONTROL THE WEAPONS USED TO FIGHT THEM?
Hackers have unleashed the dark side of cryptography–that device developed to defeat Trojan horses, viruses, password theft, and other cybercrime. It’s called cryptovirology, the art of turning the very methods designed to protect your data into a means of subverting it. In this fascinating, disturbing volume, the experts who first identified cryptovirology show you exactly what you’re up against and how to fight back.
They will take you inside the brilliant and devious mind of a hacker–as much an addict as the vacant-eyed denizen of the crackhouse–so you can feel the rush and recognize your opponent’s power. Then, they will arm you for the counterattack.
Cryptovirology seems like a futuristic fantasy, but be assured, the threat is ominous ly real. If you want to protect your data, your identity, and yourself, vigilance is essential–now.
- Understand the mechanics of computationally secure information stealing
- Learn how non-zero sum Game Theory is used to develop survivable malware
- Discover how hackers use public key cryptography to mount extortion attacks
- Recognize and combat the danger of kleptographic attacks on smart-card devices
- Build a strong arsenal against a cryptovirology attack
Top Customer Reviews
After a "motivational chapter" that it meant to shed insight on what it is like to be a hacker, this being done through a collection of short stories, the authors move on to giving a general overview of the field of cryptovirology in chapter 2. The reader gets his first dose of zero-knowledge interactive proofs (ZKIPs), which allow a prover to convince a verifier of a fact without revealing to it why the fact is true. The authors point out that viruses are vulnerable once found, since their rudimentary programming can be then studied and understood. This motivates the introduction of public key cryptography into the payload of the virus, and it is at this point that the field of cryptovirology is born.Read more ›
To be sure this is not easy reading. It is adult material, meaning that thinking is required. But it could not be otherwise, the material would not allow it. However the reader will be well rewarded for every morsel of math they endeavor to puzzle through. The realization of the potential dark side of modern cryptography is the first step in preparing to defend against it. This book provides that realization.
The reader may find the first few chapters to be an entertaining fictional account of some days in the life of a hacker. Indeed, the text reads beautifully as such. But here is a chilling thought - what if the events described were real?
Two new words are added to the language - cryptovirology (the study of computer viruses with a cryptographic payload, usually malicious) and kleptography (the application of cryptography to data theft).
Here are a few chapter or section headings to give a taste of the themes running through this work: Through Hackers's Eyes; Cryptovirology; Deniable Password Snatching; Using Viruses to Steal Information; Computationally Secure Information Stealing; The Nature of Trojan Horses; Subliminal Channels.
The book starts with an accessible piece of fiction, but quickly progresses to the opaque style common to much academic writing in this field. The reader is well advised to brush up on matrix algebra, Jacobians and Abelian and non-Abelian groups and to have a working knowledge of computer viruses (however obtained). There are appendices intended to provide brief tutorials on computer viruses and public key cryptography.Read more ›
The rest of the book is fairly informative, although it seems to be padded with a lot of supporting information about things like good vs. bad random number generators. People who have enough background to understand the threats the authors are describing probably don't need a refresher course in algorithms. People who DON'T have enough background probably won't be helped by the cursory treatment of these subjects given in the book.
All that being said, this is probably worth reading if you can get it for half off retail.
Most recent customer reviews
duncan young is truly a gift to the world of cyberphreakery. i once saw him defeat a host of cyborg lemurs with his chainsaw-arm. it was so good. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Whelky Tartar
This book shows what type of viruses and other malware we may expect next, and which absolutely overshadow existing threats. Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by Markus Jakobsson
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