Disappearing Cryptography: Being and Nothingness on the Net (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Software Engineering and Programming)

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9780127386713: Disappearing Cryptography: Being and Nothingness on the Net (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Software Engineering and Programming)

This book deals with how information can disappear so that no one knows of its existence. Convential cryptography merely scambles information into an impenetrable block. This book describes how data can be hidden in the background noise of pictures, sound recording or even bad poetry.Disappearing Cryptography is a collection of mathematical tricks and computational sleights of hand that explore the very foundations of information.
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* Visual stenography
* Covers textual cryptoanalysis
* Discusses how to set up networks with hidden communications

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Review:

Disappearing Cryptography, by Peter Wayner, asks what happens after you use encryption to encode your data. After all, encryption doesn't protect you from a jammed transmission, a diverted e-mail message, or an erased file. The gobbledygook that is encrypted data often attracts attention. But there are ways to hide data so that no one knows it's there. Wayner carefully walks the reader through the fundamentals of encryption, error correction, secret sharing, compression, and grammar. Each technique builds on the next until you are able to pull off some impressive tricks using these technologies. You can secret your journals in a picture of your dog or encode your financials as a baseball announcer's monologue.

Each chapter begins with a clever anecdote or game that introduces the subject (sometimes elliptically, which is only appropriate for a book on data hiding). A plain-language description of the technology follows, and each chapter finishes with mathematically rigorous proofs and solutions. If you are a newcomer, you will enjoy the new ideas, though you will have to trust that the technology works. If you understand some of what's going on, you will appreciate the new information and applications, as well as the in-depth descriptions of the technologies. And if you are an expert, you will still certainly find something to take away from Wayner's clever way of integrating ideas, which at times recalls Douglas R. Hofstedter's Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.

About the Author:

Peter Wayner is a writer living in Baltimore and is the author of Digital Cash and Agents at Large (both Academic Press). His writings appear in numerous academic journals as well as the pages of more popular forums such as MacWorld and the New York Times. He has taught various computer science courses at Cornell University and Georgetown University.

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