The Best Books on Cryptography

Cryptography or Cryptology is an interesting topic in mathematics and related sciences. It is a branch in math that mostly relies on the practical application of the subject.

In 2011, I came to know about this while reading the Elementary Number Theory by David M. Burton. It has a little chapter on Cryptography focused primarily for number theory students. But this whole idea of cryptography opened new dimensions to advanced learning topics like Cryptography and Network Security.

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If you are a Cryptography student, you might be looking for the best books on Cryptography. In this article I have listed, as per my experience, the best books and ebooks that you can add to your library and learn better.

If you are new to Cryptography and you are totally new to the topic, I have got you covered as well. In the list, you will find Cryptography books for beginners, graduates, and advanced students.

Key Topics for Beginner Students

For starters learning the frequency analysis the key. You can start by first learning the key definitions in Cryptography. Here are some essential terms that you need to understand:

  • Ciphers
    • Caesar cipher (the most basic cipher)
    • One time pad and stream ciphers
    • Block ciphers
  • Message integrity
  • Collision resistant hashing
  • Authenticated encryption
  • Arithmetic modulo primes
  • Public key encryption
  • Digital signatures
  • Password protocols, salts; one time passwords (S/Key and SecurID) etc.

How to start with Cryptography?

If you are totally new to this stream the Wikipedia page of Cryptography can be the best place to start.

While it covers everything theoretical about the subject, you can explore more on the Crypto.StackExchange. Crypto.StackExchange is an amazing community with people of the same taste but with a better experience in the subject. Don't be confused with Cryptocurrencies, Paid Crypto Signals or Free Crypto Signals — Cryptography may be the foundation of all these but is entirely different.

If you love fiction, you can try Cryptonomicon, a novel by Neal Stephenson. It is a story about the cryptic coding and decoding efforts during World War II. It is available as a free audiobook on Audible.

Best Books on Cryptography

These books are ideal for all readers who can buy products from If you are an Indian student, click here to skip to the list of the best Books on Cryptography for Indian Students.

  1. Applied Cryptography by Bruce Schneier / Amazon Link
  2. Cryptography Engineering by Niels Ferguson, Bruce Schneier, and Tadayoshi Kohno
  3. Handbook of Applied Cryptography by A. Menezes, P. van Oorschot, and S. Vanstone (Free ebook download link)
  4. Introduction to Modern Cryptography by J.Katz and Y.Lindell (Free ebook download link) / Latest Edition Amazon Link
  5. An Introduction to Mathematical Cryptography by Jeffrey Hoffstein, Jill Pipher, Joseph H. Silverman
  6. Understanding Cryptography: A Textbook for Students and Practitioners / Amazon Link
  7. Cryptography: The Key to Digital Security, How It Works, and Why It Matters / Amazon Link
  8. Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice/ Amazon Link
  9. The Mathematics of Secrets: Cryptography from Caesar Ciphers to Digital Encryption / Amazon Link
  10. Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing / Amazon Link

The Github user @isislovecruft has collected hundreds of ebooks on Cryptography. While it is not legal to download copyrighted PDF books for free — desperate readers can explore the library here.

Best Books on Cryptography for Indian Students

  1. Cryptography And Network Security / Amazon Link
  2. Cryptography: Theory and Practice / Amazon Link
  3. The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography / Amazon Link
  5. Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms And, Source Code In C / Amazon Link