[ISN] A Self-Study Course in Block Cipher Cryptanalysis

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Mon Oct 05 1998 - 17:42:37 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Bruce Schneier <schneiert_private>
    Ever since writing Applied Cryptography, I have been asked to recommend a
    book on cryptanalysis.  My unfortunate answer is that while there are
    several good books on cryptography, there are no books, good or bad, on
    The only way to learn cryptanalysis is through practice.  A student simply
    has to break algorithm after algorithm, inventing new techniques and
    modifying existing ones.  Reading others' cryptanalysis results helps, but
    there is no substitute for experience. 
    To help in getting this experience, I designed a self-study course in
    block-cipher cryptanalysis.  With it, a student can follow an ordered path
    through the academic literature and emerge out the other side fully
    capable of breaking new algorithms and publishing new cryptanalytic
    What I have done is to list published algorithms and published
    cryptanalyses in a coherent order: by type of cryptanalysis and
     A student's task is to read papers describing algorithms, and then
    attempt to reproduce published cryptanalytic results.  (It is definitely
    more difficult to learn cryptanalysis from academic papers than from a
    distilled textbook, but the sooner a student gets used to reading academic
    papers the better off he will be.)  The results, in other published
    papers, serve as an "answer key." 
    The paper is available in both postscript and pdf formats at:
    Comments are always appreciated.
    Bruce Schneier, President, Counterpane Systems     Phone: 612-823-1098
    101 E Minnehaha Parkway, Minneapolis, MN  55419      Fax: 612-823-1590
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