Modern Cryptography - Applied Mathematics for Encryption and Information Security


Chuck Easttom




McGraw-Hill Education

Modern Cryptography - Applied Mathematics for Encryption and Information Security

I originally picked up this book because the Stinson book (Cryptography Theory and Practice, 2006) that seems to be the defacto book for most crypto classes is heavy on the math and light on the explanation. This book proved to be a great supplement to Stinson, offering the high level overview of concepts that Stinson often glosses over in exchange for more math formulas. Easttom specifically designed this book for people with little math background or like me hasn’t touched anything more advanced than basic linear algebra since undergrad. He takes the time to explain the history and mathematical concepts behind each encryption technique. His explanations are concise and easy to understand and he sprinkles enough fun facts to keep the writing interesting.

My only complaint is that he has the opposite problem of Stinson, glossing over a lot of the math in exchange for exposition. There were several times where Easttom didn’t dig deep enough into a concept for me to really grasp it (-ahem- cryptanalysis -ahem-) and I was forced to scour the internet for more comprehensive answers. Overall, though, this book really helped me through my cryptology class. I would caution that Easttom uses different terminology than Stinson for a lot of the same concepts. So if you are using this book as a supplement to Stinson and your professor is an ardent Stinson aficionado, you will have to spend extra time translating between the two. Honestly, Easttom’s terms were easier for me to wrap my head around so I was grateful for the alternative lingo. For anyone looking for a great overview of crytography without diving too deep into more advanced concepts, this is a great book for you.


Throughout my 10 year career I have worked as a web developer, systems administrator, software engineer, security analyst and now cybersecurity engineer. I currently develop software applications to automate security vulnerability and compliance scanning and reporting for a multinational financial institution.