Learning before dabbling in applied cryptography

by Ciprian Dorin Craciun (https://volution.ro/ciprian) on 

A live document providing learning resources and pointers for those that want to experiment with applied cryptography.

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What is the purpose of this article?

I've been for a long time an "applied cryptography passive enthusiast", following various blogs and reading various introductory articles on the subject, but I have newer dug deeper or tried to do anything myself (hence the qualification "passive").

However, since a year or so, I've started playing, first in my mind then in proof-of-concept code, with various ideas, especially related to long term encryption or encryption in automation scenarios, thus leaning towards "applied cryptography active hobbyist".

About at the same time, I've started following closer some of the most prominent public writers on the topic. They might not necessarily be cryptographers themselves, however they are able to translate the various primitives, schemes, constructs, and their properties, into plain English.

Thus, for anyone seriously wanting to start experimenting with cryptography (which has nothing to do with "crypto", that is yet another alias for ponzi-schemes), I wanted to highlight some of these information sources.

Following that, I will also list a few articles that I consider are good introductory topics, or generic enough to be applicable in a broader sense.

Needless to say, I would consider this article as a "live document", and will be updating it with new sources or article as I find them.

Happy learning and experimenting!

Informational and learning resources

Matthew Green
Bruce Schneier
Filippo Valsorda
Jason Donenfeld
Frank Denis
Loup Vaillant
Neil Madden
Tony Arcieri
Wladimir Palant
Laurens Van Houtven
Colin Percival
Anyone I've missed?

I bet there are many more other invaluable sources of information on the topic. However, at the moment the ones listed above are the ones I follow, and the ones I can warmly recommend.

by Loup Vaillant

by Filippo Valsorda

by Soatok

by Cendyne

by Laurens Van Houtven

by Colin Percival

by Neil Madden

by Moxie Marlinspike

by Tony Arcieri

by Thomas Ptacek

by Nathan McCarty

by Ron Bowes

by Steve Thomas

Leads at Wikipedia

All these are good starting points for further exploration. However read the reference material.

Generic concepts