6 Best Cryptography Books for Programmers in 2021
Cryptography is an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems. It has a long and important history in protecting critical systems and sensitive information.
To help programmers in selecting a well-structured and latest book for learning Cryptography, we have narrowed it down to the best Cryptography books. We have selected the latest books where content is focused on the latest changes and gives you the confidence to move forward.
Why Learn Cryptography?
Here are a few reasons you may want to learn cryptography:
Learn Computer Systems: Learning cryptography expands your knowledge of computer systems and other related subjects.
Cryptography is Fun: Many developers get into the profession out of a love for video games. Cryptography is engaging in that same way. It tests your mind and problem-solving ability.
Future-Proof Your Skillset: The market for cryptography will only increase in the future. The internet is gradually overtaking the world, and you need to be at the center stage of it all. Every system is going digital, making cryptography the best way for safe communication.
Get Higher Salary: Moreover, it is one of the most in-demand skillsets in the current market, given that few people go into the field. Resulting in higher salaries for the many opportunities up for grabs as a cryptanalyst.
What Makes The Best Cryptography Books?
Here are our criteria for the selection of the books:
Use clear, precise, and easy-to-understand language
Thoroughly teach and explain the latest Cryptography concepts
Contain exercises, examples, and practice problems for hands-on experience
Enable to hold the attention of readers
Well-structured and friendly toward self-taught programmers
Best Books on Cryptography
Here are the reviews on the best and latest Cryptography books for programmers.
1. Best book for beginners: Practical Cryptography in Python
Practical Cryptography in Python: Learning Correct Cryptography by Example by Dr. Seth James Nielson and Christopher K. Monson teaches the basics of writing cryptographic algorithms in Python. The book guides the reader to demystify cryptographic internals and demonstrates common ways cryptography is used incorrectly.
The book is perfectly balanced between the theoretical and practical sides of cryptography. The book is divided into seven chapters and includes the following topics:
Chapter 1: Cryptography: More Than Secrecy
Chapter 2: Hashing
Chapter 3: Symmetric Encryption: Two Sides, One Key
Chapter 4: Asymmetric Encryption: Public/Private Keys
Chapter 5: Message Integrity, Signatures, and Certificates
Chapter 6: Combining Asymmetric and Symmetric Algorithms
Chapter 7: More Symmetric Crypto: Authenticated Encryption and Kerberos
Chapter 8: TLS Communications
Here's what you will learn from the book:
Understand where cryptography is used, why, and how it gets misused
Know what secure hashing is used for and its basic properties
Get up to speed on algorithms and modes for block ciphers such as AES, and see how bad configurations break
Use message integrity and/or digital signatures to protect messages
Utilize modern symmetric ciphers such as AES-GCM and CHACHA
Practice the basics of public-key cryptography, including ECDSA signatures
Discover how RSA encryption can be broken if insecure padding is used
Employ TLS connections for secure communications
Find out how certificates work and modern improvements such as certificate pinning and certificate transparency (CT) logs
This is a beginner-friendly book and assumes that the reader is starting from scratch.
2. Best book for hands-on learners: Full Stack Python Security
Full Stack Python Security by Dennis Byrne teaches you everything you’ll need to build secure Python web applications. Starting with a clear review of cryptographic foundations, you’ll learn how to implement layers of defense, secure user authentication, and third-party access, and protect your applications against common hacks.
The book is divided into three parts and eighteen chapters.
Chapter 1 talks about Defense in depth
Part 1 - Cryptographic Foundations
Chapter 2 covers Hashing
Chapter 3 talks about Keyed hashing
Chapter 4 covers Symmetric encryption
Chapter 5 talks about Asymmetric encryption
Chapter 6 covers Transport Layer Security
Part 2 - Authentication And Authorization
Chapter 7 covers HTTP session management
Chapter 8 talks about User authentication
Chapter 9 covers User password management
Chapter 10 talks about Authorization
Chapter 11 covers OAuth 2
Part 3 - Attack Resistance
12 talks about Working with the operating system
Chapter 13 guides you to Never trust input
Chapter 14 talks about Cross-site scripting attacks
Chapter 15 covers Content Security Policy
Chapter 16 talks about Cross-site request forgery
Chapter 17 talks about Cross-Origin Resource Sharing
Chapter 18 covers Clickjacking
As you work through the insightful code snippets and engaging examples, you’ll put security standards, best practices, and more into action. Along the way, you’ll get exposure to important libraries and tools in the Python ecosystem.
3. Best book for serious learners: Serious Cryptography
Serious Cryptography: A Practical Introduction to Modern Encryption by Jean-Philippe Aumasson gives a great introduction to modern encryption and cryptography. You’ll learn about authenticated encryption, secure randomness, hash functions, block ciphers, and public-key techniques such as RSA and elliptic curve cryptography.
The book is divided into fourteen chapters. Each chapter includes a discussion of common implementation mistakes using real-world examples. The book also details what could go wrong and how to avoid these pitfalls.
Chapter 1 talks about Encryption
Chapter 2 covers Randomness
Chapter 3 covers Cryptographic Security
Chapter 4 talks about Block Ciphers
Chapter 5 covers Stream Ciphers
Chapter 6 talks about Hash Functions
Chapter 7 covers Keyed-Hashing
Chapter 8 talks about Authenticated Encryption
Chapter 9 discusses the hard problems
Chapter 10 covers RSA
Chapter 11 talks about Diffie-Hellman
Chapter 12 covers Elliptic Curves
Chapter 13 covers TLS
Chapter 14 covers Quantum and Post-Quantum
Serious Cryptography is a must-read for anyone wanting to enter the cryptographic field.
Other books you may like:
4. Best book for absolute beginners: Cracking Codes With Python: An Introduction To Building And Breaking Ciphers
Cracking Codes with Python is a fantastic introduction to the Python programming language using the super-fun theme of codebreaking. You will learn to make, test, and hack programs that encrypt text with classical ciphers.
Here's what you will learn from the book:
Combine loops, variables, and flow control statements into real working programs
Use dictionary files to instantly detect whether decrypted messages are valid English or gibberish
Create test programs to make sure that your code encrypts and decrypts correctly
Code and hack a working example of the affine cipher, which uses modular arithmetic to encrypt a message
Break ciphers with techniques such as brute-force and frequency analysis
The book is divided into twenty-four chapters and includes the following topics.
Chapter 1 talks about Making Paper Cryptography Tools
Chapter 2 talks about Programming in the Interactive Shell
Chapter 3 covers Strings and Writing Programs
Chapter 4 covers the Reverse Cipher
Chapter 5 covers the Caesar Cipher
Chapter 6 covers Hacking the Caesar Cipher with Brute Force
Chapter 7 talks about Encrypting with the Transposition Cipher
Chapter 8 talks about Decrypting with the Transposition Cipher
Chapter 9 talks about Programming a Program to Test Your Program
Chapter 10 discusses Encrypting and Decrypting Files
Chapter 11 talks about Detecting English Programmatically
Chapter 12 talks about Hacking the Transposition Cipher
Chapter 13 covers a Modular Arithmetic Module for the Affine Cipher
Chapter 14 talks about Programming the Affine Cipher
Chapter 15 talks about Hacking the Affine Cipher
Chapter 16 talks about Programming the Simple Substitution Cipher
Chapter 17 talks about Hacking the Simple Substitution Cipher
Chapter 18 talks about Programming the Vigenère Cipher
Chapter 19 covers Frequency Analysis
Chapter 20 covers Hacking the Vigenère Cipher
Chapter 21 covers The One-Time Pad Cipher
Chapter 22 guides you to find and generate Prime Numbers
Chapter 23 talks about Generating Keys for the RSA Cipher
Chapter 24 talks about Programming the RSA Cipher
The book is well-structured, easy to understand, and makes the learning fun! If you're looking to start your python cybersecurity career, this book is for you.
5. Best book for hands-on learners: Hands-On Cryptography with Python: Leverage the power of Python to encrypt and decrypt data
Hands-On Cryptography with Python teaches you to evaluate and compare data encryption methods and understand their limitations. The book explores popular and important cryptographic methods and helps you to perform attacks on cryptographic systems.
This book covers essential cryptography concepts; classic encryption methods, such as the Caesar cipher and XOR. It also covers the concepts of confusion and diffusion, which determine how strong a cryptosystem is. The book guides you in hiding data with obfuscation and hashing data for integrity and passwords. You will learn strong encryption methods and attacks against these methods, including the padding oracle attack.
Protect data with encryption and hashing
Explore and compare various encryption methods
Encrypt data using the Caesar Cipher technique
Make hashes and crack them
Learn how to use three NIST-recommended systems: AES, SHA, and RSA
Understand common errors in encryption and exploit them
By the end of this book, you will be able to deal with common errors in encryption.
6. Best book for practical learners: Implementing Cryptography Using Python
Implementing Cryptography Using Python is an easy-to-understand introduction to cryptography using the available libraries in Python. This practical guide emphasizes real-world usability and explains the basics of cryptography and the Python language. The book teaches you how to set up a Python environment on various machines and how to write your first cipher, and script, analyze, and deploy a range of cryptographic solutions in Python.
The clear, user-friendly chapters explore the history of cryptography while providing step-by-step instructions for creating secure communications using public-key cryptography, authenticating messages, verifying digital signatures, and much more.
Here's what you will get from the book:
Learn how to implement proven cryptographic tools, using easy-to-understand examples written in Python
Discover the history of cryptography and understand its critical importance in today’s digital communication systems
Work through real-world examples to understand the pros and cons of various authentication methods
Protect your end-users and ensure that your applications and systems are using up-to-date cryptography
More Ways to Learn Cryptography
So these are the best Cryptography books for programmers. They serve as a great resource for those who want to learn best through reading.
There are also a few online courses on the list that let you learn Cryptography. Let's have a look at them:
Udemy: Cryptography Basics From Scratch in Python. In this course, you will learn cryptography basics including encryption, decryption, and cryptoanalysis from scratch in Python
Coursera: Python for Cybersecurity Specialization. You will learn Python for a variety of cybersecurity tasks. This Specialization provides an application-driven introduction to using Python for cybersecurity.
Codecademy: Cryptography, Authentication, & Authorization. You will learn what' cryptography is, the difference between authentication and authorization, and how to keep your data secure online. For more information about Codecademy Pro and whether the program overall is worth it, see my Codecademy Pro review.
Go ahead and grab a book or sign up for an online course, and we guarantee that you will reap a big from the skills.