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on September 22, 1998
Who would have thought that a detailed technical book on network security would be fun to read? I wouldn't have, but this one is highly technical and also lots of fun to read. As the fundamental tenet of cryptography, instead of some abstract mathematical theorem about something or other being NP complete we get "If lots of smart people have failed to solve a problem, then it probably won't be solved (soon)". But don't get me wrong, this is not a content-free book for top management, it is highly technical, with long chapters on secret-key cryptography, hashes and message digests, public-key cryptography, number theory, authentication and much more. Unlike Bruce Schneier's book, Applied Cryptography, which is more like an encylopedia than a book, this one is enjoyable to read while still carefully explaining state-of-the-art cryptographic protocols--not an easy feat to pull off. For anyone with a university degree in engineering, the sciences, or mathematics who wants to learn a lot about network security and be entertained while doing so, this book can't be beat.
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on September 6, 1998
This book should appeal to both the beginner and the professional in network security. The book starts with very few assumptions about the existing security knowledge of the reader yet still manages to explain, in considerable depth, encryption and security protocols.
Best of all, it's extremely well written, well illustrated and peppered with some good humour. A topic like this could be tedious to read, but this book isn't (although I have to admit, the chapter on Kerberos didn't quite spark me up the way the rest of it did!).
The book has some excellent mathematical background for those who want to understand public key cryptography but aren't that familiar with modular exponentiation and the like. It also has detailed descriptions of a number of algorithms.
In summary, an excellent all-rounder on this extremely important topic.
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on May 26, 2002
The second edition of this witty and informative book on network security is even better than the first edition and is clearly the best book on the subject currently available. Secret and public key algorithms and protocols, message hashes, authentication, Kerberos, PKI, IPsec, SSL/TLS, and e-mail security are all explained at length. Chapter 26 on security folklore is a real gem. In security, the devil is in the details. For anyone planning to design a security system that is actually supposed to work, this chapter is must reading. The book is aimed at readers with a university degree in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics. If you want to learn everything there is to know about network security, look no further.
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on October 2, 1998
As electronic commerce, home banking, and similar network applications become commonplace, network security will be absolutely essential to ensuring the privacy of all the users. In this book the authors explain how network security works, starting with the basic ideas and working up to numerous state-of-the-art subjects. For readers who want to know all about the mathematical fundementals of cryptography, there is a chapter on mathematics, but it is not necessary to understand the book. Many protocols and real-world examples are given. The book is very well written and easy to read. I recommend it most highly.
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on February 22, 2000
I took this book along on a business trip with the expectation that it would work better than chamomile tea before bed -- instead it kept me up well into the night. It turns a, necessarily, tedious subject into compelling reading. A "must-read" and "must-have" reference for any person charged with managing a distributed computing environment.
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on May 4, 2015
This book has a lot of good information in it and does provide a wide array of security information. However, this book is very poorly written with spelling mistakes and not being presented in a good way . I found it as a student in my final semester very hard to read after reading countless programming and algorithm books. This book often doesn't go into enough details of the topics they are explain and often just assumes you figure it out immediately. It would be nice if they would provide more concrete way of explain of topics instead of Alice send X, Bob receives Y, etc for a couple paragraphs.
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on February 27, 1999
This book has one of the most comprehensible explanations of network authentication protocols (including Kerberos V) that I've seen. The authors demonstrate intimate knowledge of the subject material, but they restrain themselves from simply performing a brain dump on the reader. Rather they include historical and personal footnotes that make the story witty and memorable, and give context to the topic at hand. Definitely add this book to your collection.
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on May 12, 1999
Far and away the best book on network security and basic cryptography. This book is very well written and contains a number of simple examples to explain even the most complex theory. This is so far the only crypto book I've been able to read cover-to-cover more than once without pulling my hair out. Its not as deep on many topics as the Schneier or Stallings books. But if you buy one security/crypto book, buy this one.
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on February 28, 1999
This book is half decent, but it assumes the reader knows a little more than a novice with a good backround in networking would know. The book gives good diagrams and descriptions for some algorithms but not all.
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