Everything you need to know about cryptography in 1 hour

A session at BSDCan 2010

Cryptography is hard. It usually takes many years of study before it is possible to make any serious contribution to the field; and even expert cryptographers often have flaws discovered in their work. However, merely using cryptography requires far less expertise. In this talk, I will cover everything most software developers will ever need to know about cryptography -- starting from the very beginning -- along with (time allowing) some of the reasons behind the recommendations I provide. Specific topics covered will include symmetric vs. asymmetric encryption; symmetric vs. asymmetric signatures; block ciphers; block cipher modes; key lengths; message authentication codes; hash algorithms; password handling; padding for asymmetric encryption; padding for asymmetric signing; Diffie-Hellman groups; and side channel attacks. Specific attacks will be discussed only to the extent of mentioning that they exist and explaining how cryptography-using systems should be designed to thwart them.

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Colin Percival

Computer Scientist & FreeBSD Security Officer bio from Twitter

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BSDCan 2010

Canada Canada, Ottawa

13th14th May 2010

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