Bruce Almighty: Schneier preaches security to Linux faithful

Schneier is one of three keynote speakers at Linux.conf.au 2008 and speaks with Dahna McConnachie about his presentation, books and thoughts.

Many people have asked for a third edition of Applied Cryptography. Is this likely to happen, and if so, any time soon?

At this point I have no plans to write a third edition of Applied Cryptography. There are several reasons. The field of cryptography has exploded since I wrote the second edition. There are dozens of new algorithms, protocols, and systems. I would have to cover all of the Internet protocols, all of the new MACs and signature schemes, all of the new analysis techniques. Because Applied Cryptography is designed to be comprehensive, there would be no way for me to edit things down...only include the three most important algorithms, for example. So, I would have no choice but to include everything. This would make the book too large for one binding. And publishers hate multiple volumes. And in any case, I just don't have the time to do all the necessary work.

However, in a way there is now a sequel. Practical Cryptography, by Neils Ferguson and myself, was published this year. It's about cryptography as it is used in real-world systems, about cryptography as an engineering discipline rather than cryptography as a mathematical science.

This is the book we wish we'd had more than a decade ago when we started our cryptographic careers. It collects our combined experiences on how to design cryptographic systems the right way. In some ways, this book is a sequel to Applied Cryptography, but it focuses on very practical problems and on how to build a secure system rather than just design a cryptographic protocol.

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