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Cryptography Primer

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🚧 This site is currently in early development. 🚧

Cryptography Primer aims to be your go-to place for precise, well-researched and easy-to-understand info on cryptographic algorithms and systems.

The author is actively working on fine-tuning existing content and adding new content every day.

Follow @CryptPrimer on Twitter to stay up to date and learn about new content. I'd also love to hear your opinion and feedback!

Disclaimer: How to use recommendations from Cryptography Primer

The recommendations on Cryptography Primer are based on research on multiple sources that are freely available online, such as:

  • Research papers available on e.g. arxiv.org1
  • Recommendations of Cryptographic Library authors
  • BSI technical guidelines4
  • NIST publications5
  • Blogs of reknown cryptographers or cybersecurity experts
  • crypto.stackexchange.com2
  • security.stackexchange.com3
  • and occasionally other sources

As should always be the case, you should not take recommendations from a single source for granted, but instead find at least a second - or better, third - source that confirms this recommendation.

Also, if you are using recommendations for anything that will be used in a production setting or will be used by anyone that relies on it's cryptograhic properties, it is highly recommended to let your concept and implementation being reviewed by a reknown cybersecurity firm.

That being said, the author hopes that Cryptography Primer helps you find the correct algorithm to use for your scenario, and find the correct parameters and modes for a safe implementation.


Encryption Overview

Learn all about the different kinds of encryption algorithms and see a comparison of common algorithms including information about their level of security.

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AES in detail

Learn all about AES and how to apply it securely in your application.

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ChaCha in detail

Learn all about ChaCha and how to apply it securely in your application.

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Hashing, Signing and MAC

What are hashing, signing and MAC (Message Authentication Code) used for and what is the difference between these?

Learn more



The following topics are planned to be added in the future:

  • Encryption algorithms:
    • ECIES
    • RSA
    • Practical attacks on encryption algorithms and how to prevent them
  • Key derivation:
    • Overview and comparison
    • Password-based key derivation
    • Key derivation for other scenarios
  • Hashing functions:
    • SHA2 family
    • SHA3 familiy
    • Blake2
    • Blake3
    • Practical collisions for hashing functions and their impact
  • Digital Signatures:
    • EdDSA
    • ECDSA
    • RSA
  • Message Authentication Codes
    • Overview and Comparison
    • ...
  • Public Key Infrastructure
    • PKI explained
    • TLS explained
    • x.509 Certificates
    • Certificate Signing and Verification
  • Cryptography in widespread use
    • WPA (WiFi)
    • PGP
    • SSH
    • Bluetooth
    • HTTPS
  • History
    • The history of cryptography from ancient until today
    • A glimpse in the future: Quantum Computer and cryptography