Learn Cryptography Without The Math
Written by Nikos Vaggalis
Tuesday, 09 July 2024

Are you sick of the math associated with cryptography?
You don't have to be any more. Applied Cryptography from the University of Tartu shows cryptography without the math! At last, a hands-on tutorial that teaches developers how to utilize cryptography in an easy-to-comprehend and down-to-earth way.

This course introduces the concepts without delving into formal
definitions and math, looking at PKI, TLS, ciphers and the rest in real world applications such as digital signatures and smart cards.

The course is comprised of 16 exciting lectures under an hour in length (most of them), requires knowledge in Python for the code part, and is taught by professor Arnis ParÅ¡ovs.

These lectures are :

1. Randomness, PRNG, One-Time Pad, Stream Cipher
What is a random sequence of numbers and why do we need it?

2. Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1)
As in anything Computer Scinence, the ASN notation is broadly used in telecommunications and computer networking, and especially in cryptography

3. Hash functions and HMAC
Essential for protecting passwords against brute force attacks

4. Block ciphers (AES)
Symmetric cryptography. How does a block cipher work?

5. Public Key Cryptography (RSA)
Assymetric cryptography and its benefits:

• Secret key can be negotiated over non-confidential channel
• Provides possibility for digital signatures
• Data origin authentication

6. Elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC)
The alternative to RSA

7. Public key certificates (X.509)
Public key certificates bind a public key to an identity

8. Revocation checking (CRL/OCSP)
Why it may be required to invalidate (revoke) a certificate before its expiration, and how to go about it

9. Digital signatures (XAdES)
How do they implement the legal framework

10. Smart cards (EstEID)
Looking at a bit of hardware in explaining the structure of the smart card, and the way it works.

11. Smart cards (JavaCard)
The smart card security model and the JavaCard technology.

12. Transport Layer Security (TLS) Basic
What TLS is and why it is the most crucial technology of the
Internet's infrastructure.

13. Transport Layer Security (TLS) Advanced
The advanced features of

• Client Certificate Authentication
• Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS)
• (EC)Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange
• TLS extensions

14. The Onion Router (Tor)
How Tor enables online anonymity and censorship resistance.

15. Bitcoin, Proof-of-Work
How the Bitcoin system works and on which security assumptions is based.

Essential cryptography material that anyone can relate too without being a Mathematician, with the stamp of Estonia, the pioneers of the digital state.

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