Top 34 Best Cryptography Books In 2020

From elliptic curves to the blockchain, cryptography is one the fascinating and fastest growing mathematical systems in the world right now. But how does it work? And how you can learn more about it?

In this guide, we’ll run through the top 34 best cryptography books on Amazon in 2020.

I’ve split the list into sections, so you can skip to the type of cryptography you’re interested in learning about. 

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Introductory Books On Cryptography For Beginners

1. Break the Code: Cryptography for Beginners

This book gives you a really basic set of cryptography exercises you can practice yourself.

It’s great for long trips if you want to keep yourself entertained. 

Here’s what you can expect:

  • 51 pages of codes
  • Illustrations and puzzles
  • Easy and beginner friendly cryptography codes to crack
  • Tricky puzzles that will test your skills
  • Six different types of cryptography codes
  • Keywords and cipher shift problems
  • A perfect introduction to how cryptography works in practice

2. Serious Cryptography: A Practical Introduction to Modern Encryption

I love the honesty of this book.

Whilst cryptography is often seen as the golden ticket for cybersecurity, that’s often not the case.

Just look at cryptocurrency exchange hacks that regularly hit the headlines every month.

Cryptography isn’t perfect – and that’s what this book teaches you.

You’ll learn:

  • How encryption works
  • How pseuedorandom systems operate
  • The applications of cryptography
  • The differences between quantum and post quantum
  • An in-depth look at Symmetric and Asymmetric coding

3. Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction

When it comes to learning, sometimes you just want to know the very basics of a subject.

That’s how this book helps you.

“Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction” gives you a fascinating glimpse into the potential of cryptography.

There’s a few typos here and there, but on the whole it’s a great guide.

What you’ll learn:

  • A brief overview of how the algorithm works
  • Security & how cryptography helps
  • The basics of historical algorithms
  • Examples of cryptography in everyday life
  • Uses of cryptography in the real world

4. Cryptography For Dummies

When it comes to the Dummies series, you know what you’re getting.

This guide gives you a simple overview of almost everything you need to know. 

It’s a little old now, but it’s still very useful. 

You’ll discover:

  • How cryptography works in the technology industry
  • Why it matters for markets such as ecommerce, VPNs and wireless transfers
  • What the PKI primer is and how you can use it
  • How to use cryptiquette as a programmer
  • What locks and keys are in the cryptography world

Quantum Cryptography

5. The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

Whilst this book isn’t solely focused on Quantum cryptography, it does teach you how algorithms have been developed to create the concept of Quantum.

From the mechanisation of secrecy to quantum leaps, this book takes you on a journey through time.

Here’s what you can expect to find in this guide:

  • Encryption and the art of cryptography
  • Historic moments in the development of cryptography
  • How quantum works and what it means
  • Why mathematicians have always favoured cryptography for security

6. Post-Quantum Cryptography

Do you know your RSAs from your DSAs?

If not, this guide might just be for you.

This book analyses the future of Quantum cryptography, including some of the security problems we could face.

You will discover:

  • Key challenges in the cryptography world and potential solutions
  • Merkle’s tree authentication problems and what they mean
  • What tree chaining is and how it works in practice
  • Classical cryptography methods and how they tie in with quantum computing
  • Search algorithms and boolean function theory

7. The Physics of Quantum Information

This book doesn’t come cheap.

But there’s a reason why.

There’s a lot of unique information and knowledge put into it, and this guide is unlike any other quantum ebook out there.

From cryptography to teleportation, it’s a must read.

It’s a little heavy at times and you will need prior knowledge of cryptography, so make sure you check out the introductory books listed above before you get started.

This guide also sheds some light on the cryptography topics most of us struggle to comprehend, such as error correction and entanglement.

8. Quantum Computing for Computer Scientists

As you can tell from the title, this isn’t the easiest book to read.

But if you’re looking for something a little more thought provoking, you’re in the right place.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Systems for computing such as assembling, quantum and deterministic
  • What complex vector spaces are and how they support eigenvalues/eigenvectors
  • The very basics of quantum theory – from states all the way to dynamics
  • Architecture, programming languages and theoretical computer science

​Cryptography And Network Security

9. Cryptography for Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing

We all know that with the rise of hacking, cybersecurity is becoming a huge issue. 

But perhaps cryptography could be the solution.

If you’re a cloud computing professional, this book is a must read.

From identity protection to securing data, you’ll get some really useful insights that are practical and useful for your career too.

Here’s why:

  • Learn how anonymous authentications and ring signatures could help to protect our identities online
  • Discover what lattice assumptions are and why computational complexity matters
  • Learn the basics of zero-knowledge proofs
  • Gain insights into the practical issues surrounding cryptography

10. Encyclopedia of Cryptography and Security

With a multitude of references, essays and useful notes, this guide is one of the most comprehensive books I’ve ever read on cryptography.

It covers everything you’d ever want to know including:

  • Quantum computing
  • Protocols and smart cards
  • Sharing encrypted messages
  • Digital payments and cryptocurrency
  • Ciphers 
  • Hash functions and computational issues

11. Cryptography and Security Services: Mechanisms and Applications

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Surprisingly, this is actually quite an easy read.

In a world where we’re more connected than ever, our online security has never been more at risk.

This book looks at some of the cybersecurity solutions that could be developed with cryptography including:

  • Number theory and boolean binary expressions
  • Shift registers and how block ciphers work
  • What block encryptions are 
  • Authentication solutions and issues with cryptography
  • Elliptic curves, in terms of signature generation and software implementations

12. .NET Security and Cryptography

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If you’re reliant on .Net security, this book is for you.

It will teach you the key concepts around cryptography within .Net applications.

You’ll learn:

  • The theory behind cryptography security for .Net Microsoft applications
  • How to improve your network’s security
  • What you can do to apply these development tools on a practical level
  • Logical sequence and context programming tips

​Learn Cryptography

13. Cryptographic Engineering: Design Principles and Practical Applications

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Brought to you by some of the world’s leading cryptography experts, you’ll learn how to become a true cryptographer.

From start to finish, you’ll discover how to create your cryptography products.

It’s one of the few practical books you can you find on Amazon about cryptography.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Protocols for cryptographic assets
  • PKI practicalities 
  • How to bring in a team of consultants/experts and test your application
  • What ‘The Clock’ is and how it works
  • Negotiation techniques for key management

14. An Introduction to Cryptography (Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications)

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If you’re a beginner, looking for a quick way to learn cryptography, this a good starting point.

The only problem I have is that there’s no mention of Elliptic Curves.

That’s kind of a big deal for a book on cryptography.

Aside from that, you’ll learn about:

  • How the science of cryptography works
  • The art of coding and encryption
  • Number theory and the algebra behind this system
  • How to create provable digital key signatures
  • What public keys are and why they matter for secure encryptions

15. Cryptographic Boolean Functions and Applications, Second Edition

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This is a really useful reference guide for learning how to use Boolean functions in cryptography.

From Bent Boolean functions to balanced symmetric rhythms, it’s pretty comprehensive.

What’s in it for you?

  • Learn how Boolean functions can be applied in modern cryptography
  • Proofs and examples of how boolean functions work
  • The overarching concepts and ideas behind how to use Booleans
  • Overall, it’s a really useful reference guide for understanding the advantages of boolean in cryptography

16. Cryptanalysis: A Study of Ciphers and Their Solution

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This book is a little dated now, but it’s still useful.

Obviously, since it was published cryptography technology has developed tremendously.

But you can still find a lot of value in this book.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • The basics of applied and modern cryptography
  • A useful reference guide
  • A simple overview of the complexity of cryptography
  • The technical elements you need to know about (you’ll need a little mathematical knowledge already)

​Computer Cryptography

17. Beginning Cryptography with Java

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This is a great book if you’re looking to enhance security whilst programming in Java.

There’s lots of examples and code snippets included within the book.

It’s a little advanced for newbie Java developers.

I’d say it’s more for intermediate/professional Java programmers.

What’s included in the book?

  • The basic architecture of JCA and JCE
  • Symmetric Key Cryptography, with tips on using Cipher Padding
  • Tutorials on random key generation
  • Password based encryption on Java

18. Hacking Secret Ciphers with Python: A beginner’s guide to cryptography and computer programming with Python

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Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced Python programmer, you’ll still find this book useful.

It takes you from zero to hero in cryptography programming. 

And you’ll learn about topics such as:

  • How to create your own paper cryptography tools, like decrypting and encrypting cipher wheels
  • Practice exercises
  • Lots of easy and beginner friendly lessons
  • Code snippets and coding examples
  • Strings and how to write programs by utilising indexing, negative indexing and slicing

19. Cryptography for Developers

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In this guide, you’ll discover the concepts of RSA and ECC.

It’s a little more advanced than the books above, so if you’re an experienced developer this resource could be very useful.

Here’s some of the topics included:

  • The base architecture of cryptography
  • How to develop with privacy, security, authentication and integrity goals in mind
  • Technical elements like ASN Data Types, Integer Types and Boolean Types
  • Random number generation, RNG Design and PRNG attacks

​Elliptic Curve Cryptography

20. Advances in Elliptic Curve Cryptography

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This is the second book in Ian Blake’s cryptography series, since his original release in 1999.

Since then, Elliptic Curve algorithms have changed a lot.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • ECIES, ECDSA and other considerations for Elliptic Curve Protocols
  • How to create a proof of security
  • Useful implementation techniques for Elliptic Curve based protocols
  • Randomisation techniques
  • Creating pairings – and how to do this with cryptography
  • Applications, complexities and issues you need to consider whilst developing Elliptic Curve based protocols

21. Handbook of Elliptic and Hyperelliptic Curve Cryptography

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Let’s be honest, Elliptic Curves Protocols can get a little confusing at times.

This resource down the core concepts down in a simple, easy to understand way.

The mathematical concepts are mind blowing.

And it’s written extremely well – something you don’t often find in books like these.

You’ll learn about:

  • Number theory
  • Finite fields
  • ECC and HECC cryptography
  • Implementation considerations
  • Logarithmic problems and discrete systems
  • The algebraic structure of Elliptic Curve cryptography

22. Elliptic Curves and Their Applications to Cryptography: An Introduction

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This is more of a beginner’s guide to Elliptic Curves.

It’s a great starting point for anyone looking to learn more about them, how they work, what they do and their applications.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • About group law on Elliptic Curves
  • Their different forms – including Affine Plane, Affine Elliptic, Lines, Divisors and Singularities
  • How Elliptic Curves work over finite fields
  • Counting points and the variations of algorithms you can implement
  • Primes – including Elkies and Atkin
  • The discrete logarithm problem

23. Elliptic Curves: Number Theory and Cryptography

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I like this book because it covers every relevant angle around Elliptic Curves.

You see, a lot of guides tend to be more theoretical. 

But instead, this book runs you through the practical, theoretical and conceptual uses of Elliptic Curve Protocols.

Here’s what you’ll gain from reading this book

  • The basic theory behind cryptography like Endomorphisms and Singular Curves
  • Torsion Points and The Weil Pairing
  • Elliptic Curves over Finite Fields
  • Discrete Logarithm Problems
  • Isogenies theory – algebraic, complex, point counting and complements

​Applied Cryptography Books

24. Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms and Source Code in C

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This book hasn’t been updated for a while, but it’s still a valuable guide on applied cryptography.

It’s written by Bruce Schneier, one of the world’s leading experts in his field.

By the end of the book, you’ll learn how to create extremely sophisticated applications with cryptography based encryption.

Whilst cryptography has been long been used by civilisations throughout history, Bruce covers the same techniques pioneered by the NSA and former Soviet Union.

All in all, it’s very interesting stuff.

25. Cryptography Engineering: Design Principles and Practical Applications

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If you’re looking for a practical guide to cryptography, this is it. 

It’s written for programmers with an intermediate understanding of cryptography.

That means you’ll learn some of the key mathematical principles behind it, whilst still looking at cryptography’s real world uses too.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What Block Cipher Modes are and how they work
  • How to program Message Authentication codes
  • PKI’s theory vs it’s realistic uses
  • Primes and how to generate randomness

26. Public Key Cryptography: Applications and Attacks

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This is actually a University textbook, but don’t let that put you off.

It’s comprehensive, detailed and very practical. 

This book’s pretty easy to understand too.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Major key systems
  • How to enhance security in your own applications
  • The mathematical theory behind cryptography
  • The RSA challenge and how to use it
  • Sequence cycles
  • SHA-1 and MD5 operations

​Modern Cryptography Books

27. Modern Cryptography and Elliptic Curves: A Beginner’s Guide

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Really, there’s only a handful books on Elliptic Curves that are worth checking out.

And even fewer are updated with the modern concepts of cryptography.

This is definitely one of those few.

You only need a basic knowledge of mathematics to understand this book too, so it’s beginner friendly.

You’ll learn why Elliptic Curves matter, the best tools for cryptoanalysis and the contrast between classical and modern cryptography.

28. Modern Cryptography, Probabilistic Proofs and Pseudorandomness

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This book gives you an overview of modern cryptography, without getting too carried on the complexity of it.

From the foundations of modern cryptography to pseudorandom generators and probability theory, it’s a good starting point.

It covers almost everything you’d want to know such as:

  • RSA and Rabin functionalities
  • Proof systems and how they work
  • Zero-knowledge proof systems and the pros/cons of them
  • A comparison of existing algorithmic concepts – in terms of their effectiveness and practicality
  • Space bounded machines and PCP Approximation

29. Introduction to Modern Cryptography: Principles and Protocols

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I can’t sugarcoat it:

This book will challenge you.

But if you can get past that, you’ll discover a seriously useful guide.

You’ll discover how to gain more confidence whilst using cryptography, how you can use open source software to develop your own cryptography programs and most importantly, how to improve your ability to develop securely.

It really opened up my mind to the power of cryptography and it’s amazing use cases.

Summed up:

This book will totally transform the way you think about encryption and cybersecurity. 

30. Machine Cryptography and Modern Cryptanalysis

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Communication has been a pivotal part of war over the last couple of centuries.

And cryptography has played an important part of that.

This interesting guide begins by taking a glimpse into how cryptography was used during World War 2.

From there, you’ll discover some of the amazing cipher machines used throughout history. 

Some of the cipher machines discussed include:

  • Arvid Damm’s Cryptograph, Enigma D and Pinwheel Rotors
  • ECM and One-Rotor machines
  • The UHR box
  • American Analogue Red Machine
  • The Japanese Jade Machine

​History Of Cryptography

31. World War II Cryptography: The History of the Efforts to Crack the Secret Codes Used by the Axis and Allies

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If you’re looking for an introduction into the power and influence cryptography has had on the world, this guide will fascinate you.

During World War 2, cryptography played a pivotal role in the battle between both sides.

From cipher machines to the enigma code, this is a very practical overview of how cryptography can be used.

32. The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet

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With rave reviews from The New York Times and Washington Post, this book is quite simply gripping.

From the Egyptians all the way to the development of the blockchain, cryptography has been around for thousands of years.

And I feel like most of us don’t really understand just how powerful it could become in the future.

This book runs you through:

  • The origins of cryptography
  • The magic of cryptography and how it’s shaped our world since Ancient times
  • How wars were won and lost with cryptography
  • The communication battle between the neutrals and allies

33. The Mathematics of Secrets: Cryptography from Caesar Ciphers to Digital Encryption

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I love this book because it makes the mathematical theory of cryptography accessible to anyone – with or without a mathematical background.

It really breaks down the core concepts, whilst giving you simple, fundamental explanations.

With this guide, you’ll discover:

  • Ciphers and substitution
  • Homphonic ciphers and how they work in practice
  • Why cryptography matters in the computing world
  • How to create your own cipher network
  • The future of cryptography – including quantum computing and post quantum concepts

34. The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-Breaking

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From the unsolved codes worth a potential $20M to Alan Turing’s cipher machines, this book takes you on an exhilarating ride through time.

One of the great things about this guide is it’s storytelling.

Whilst cryptography can be a little dry at times, Dr. Simon Singh really breathes life into it.

This book includes examples of how cryptography began, why it’s survived the test of time and how it’s still continuing to evolve, even to this day.

Plus it’s crammed with loads of fascinating facts, resources and puzzles.

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