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Everything you need to know about cryptography in 1 hour - Colin Percival

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Published on Dec 25, 2014

Everything you need to know about cryptography in 1 hour

Cryptography is hard. It usually takes many years of study before it is possible to make any serious contribution to the field; and even expert cryptographers often have flaws discovered in their work.

However, merely using cryptography requires far less expertise. In this talk, I will cover everything most software developers will ever need to know about cryptography -- starting from the very beginning -- along with (time allowing) some of the reasons behind the recommendations I provide.

Specific topics covered will include symmetric vs. asymmetric encryption; symmetric vs. asymmetric signatures; block ciphers; block cipher modes; key lengths; message authentication codes; hash algorithms; password handling; padding for asymmetric encryption; padding for asymmetric signing; Diffie-Hellman groups; and side channel attacks. Specific attacks will be discussed only to the extent of mentioning that they exist and explaining how cryptography-using systems should be designed to thwart them.

About Colin Percival

Dr. Colin Percival is a Security Officer Emeritus of the FreeBSD Project and the founder of the Tarsnap online backup service. In his spare time he attempts to improve the use of cryptography in software, both through novel cryptographic research and by attempting to educate the software developing public about the proper use of cryptography. He is also creator of the scrypt key derivation algorithm.

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