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Cryptography I

Coursera · Stanford University · 15 HN points · 47 HN citations

Cryptography is an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems. In this course you will learn the inner workings of cryptographic systems and how to correctly use them in real-world ...

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Hacker News Comments about Cryptography I

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this course.
Dec 28, 2018 harias on Crypto 101 – Introductory course on cryptography
Cryptography 1 by Stanford on Coursera is really good too :
Sep 02, 2018 pkcsecurity on An Intensive Introduction to Cryptography
Another great crypto resource (though it's really an intro course) that's out there is the Cryptography course on Coursera: . It's taught by Dan Boneh who, in addition to being a genius, also happens to be incredibly talented at explaining crypto concepts in a way that leads to deep understanding. It's a great treat watching him write out and explain different proofs from memory.

After taking these two crypto courses, I signed up for CS155 , which is his undergrad class on security at Stanford (they were offering it through their professional center, I don't think they still offer it, which is a bummer)

Apr 03, 2018 eeZah7Ux on Ask HN: What are the best MOOCs you've taken?
Prof. Dan Boneh's Cryptography I is really good.

Compared to many other MOOCs, it provides solid foundations while being easy to follow.

Apr 03, 2018 suddensleep on Ask HN: What are the best MOOCs you've taken?
Not a cryptocurrency course per se, but Dan Boneh's course on Cryptography[1] is an excellent introduction to most of the building blocks of cryptosystems, including the technology underlying most cryptocurrencies.

In terms of level, it is more than a little technical (programming exercises in both cryptography and cryptanalysis await you!), while still remaining far from rigorous (compared to, say, a graduate-level cryptography text).


Apr 03, 2018 cjauvin on Ask HN: What are the best MOOCs you've taken?
Three Coursera MOOCs I particularly enjoyed:

* Discrete Optimization: almost entirely problem-driven, very challenging and entertaining prof;

* Crypto I: very deep, thorough and crystal clear explanations;

* Computer Networks: excellent overall course covering a wide variety of topics; ,

Jun 27, 2017 bogomipz on How HTTPS Handshake Happens
The content is actually pretty terrible and not likely to help anyone understand much about TLS.

This however is a decent resource for learning the things you're asking about such as public key crypto, asymetric vs symetric, digital signatures, etc. Specifically weeks 5 and 6. The whole course is good though.

Apr 05, 2017 jjperezaguinaga on Ask HN: Current Crypto Best Practices
If you come from a computer science/math background, and want an intro to cryptography in general, I can strongly recommend the Coursera course from Stanford University by professor Dan Boneh - . To really understand the implementations of security libraries and tools, one should be at least familiar with the fundamentals and terminology of crypto. Otherwise you are blindly encrypting things without being aware of whether you are actually securing things.

The course is free and takes 6 weeks long, and is very interesting if you had never dwelled too deep into security or crypto. There's also a new cryptography class that will be available in September of 2017 - .

Jan 16, 2017 Fnoord on Established education providers v new contenders
Learning How To Learn by Barbara Oakly on Coursera It teaches you fundamentals of how the brain works, and how to improve your learning. It is free. Those three factors make it a great first course.

Cryptography I by Dan Boneh on Coursera I actually can't recommend it to everyone because I didn't complete it and I just wasn't intelligent enough on the material to complete it. This requires one to be good with advanced maths, and I got migraine issues from this (same as with advanced maths in my youth). However it is very well explained. The problem was me, not Dan Boneh's course.

Positive Psychology by Barbara Fredrickson My significant other completed this course (I have not tried it yet), and highly recommends it. Its on my list.

Securing Democracy by J. Alex Halderman I thought I was interested in this subject, and I was to some extend, but I was not enough interested to follow the course to the end. However the course as far as I took it was excellent.

Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice by Edwin Bakker I didn't complete this course either but it was interesting and good nonetheless.

There are just a few of the courses I can recommend, and it doesn't contain the one I'm currently one because I haven't completed it yet (will likely include it once completed). There's also courses I cannot recommend (it also depends on the audience). I will resort to the positive angle though wink .

One thing I got from the courses is that it is OK to not complete a course. You can regard it as time waste which is fair enough. My goal is not to get a certificate though. That's merely a byproduct. My goal is to learn (which is a process), to satisfy my taste for knowledge. However Coursera changed its terms of usage last years and ever since I used the platform less.

Dec 20, 2016 Kurtz79 on Rolling Your Own Crypto
If you are interested in more than an article, this course is very good.

Sorry to spoil it, but the conclusion will basically be the same as the article, as in "just don't".

Jun 28, 2016 gameofdrones on “Should you encrypt or compress first?”
The OP should take
Mar 07, 2016 helicon on Cryptography: An Introduction (2011) [pdf]
I'm currently working through Cryptography 1 on Coursera and struggling with some of the maths involved, so hopefully this will help.

Nov 30, 2015 middleclick on Ask HN: What's your favorite online course?
Dan Boneh's "Introduction to Cryptography".

(Part 1) (Part 2)

Oct 26, 2015 geomark on List of the Most Popular MOOCs
I've completed a bunch of Coursera courses. Quality really varies. Even within the 9 course Data Science specialization [1] track some courses were rather poor while the rest were very good. I'm currently taking the #5 rated course [2]. It is excellent. But I'm only taking it because the Statisical Inference course in the Data Science specialization was so weak.

I would also recommend the Cryptography 1 course by Dan Boneh on Coursera [3]. Excellent if you are at all interested in the subject.

I always download the lecture videos, slides, quizzes, labs and exams because, as mentioned, many of the courses don't allow access once the class is completed.

You definitely have to have plenty of self discipline to complete MOOCs. And I don't have any delusions about a Coursera certificate being useful in landing a job; that's not what I'm after. I'm building the skills I want to apply to my own projects.

[1] [2] [3]

Aug 25, 2015 tga_d on A Graduate Course in Applied Cryptography [pdf]
That Coursera link should be

The first course happens regularly, while "part 2" has been "2 months away" for at least a year now.

Apr 14, 2015 bradleyjg on The Cryptographic Doom Principle
That's good advice, and I've given it myself, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read and play around with cryptography if it interests you.

I implemented a simplified version of the referenced Vaudenay attack as part of Dan Boneh's Cryptography I course on courseara+. The course was very interesting, and also fun. I'm not ready to go out and implement my own cryptography, but knowing a bit about the subject makes me a more intelligent consumer of crypto libraries.

While warning people away from implementing their own cryptography we have to make sure we don't scare people off from the subject altogether. After all, absolute top experts have to start somewhere.


Feb 11, 2015 reberhardt on The Bitcoin Piñata
Coursera/Stanford have a crypto course going on right now. It's already well under way but you can watch all the videos and (I believe) still do the quizzes and just pass on the certificate.
Jan 10, 2015 TrainedMonkey on Typing the Letters A-E-S Into Your Code (2009)
Rule of crypto #1 - never implement your own crypto.

If you want to know what they are talking about, here are two free courses that go over all of that stuff and more. I particularly liked error oracle decryption exercise from coursera crypto class:

Dec 21, 2014 JabavuAdams on N reasons why the spooks love Tribler
The next iteration of Stanford's Coursera Cryptography 1 course starts on Jan 5:
Nov 03, 2014 Confusion on Crypto 101
Does anyone know how this compares to Coursera course [1] or [2] + [3]?




Oct 19, 2014 emmelaich on Making sure crypto remains insecure [pdf]
Try this "Crypto I" course

Sep 28, 2014 infinity0 on Quantum mechanics as a generalization of probability (2007)
"As a direct result of this "QWERTY" approach to explaining quantum mechanics - which you can see reflected in almost every popular book and article, down to the present -- the subject acquired an undeserved reputation for being hard."

The same goes for cryptography. Most cryptography courses spend at least the first hour talking about historical irrelevance like substitution ciphers etc. Crypto I [1] (Dan Boneh) follows the latter approach, i.e. starting from modern theoretical principles, defining security properties in terms of computational complexity and games.

I quite liked the Quantum Computing course [2] (Anuj Dawar) from the Cambridge CST, which also followed that approach, though it didn't present this stuff as a "generalisation of probability". No-cloning theorem in 3rd or 4th lecture, IIRC.

edit: After reading this article fully, I think it would have made for a good "lecture 0" in the above course, bridging the gap between more elementary maths and it.

[1] [2]

Aug 12, 2014 andrewparker on The Matasano Crypto Challenges
A good complement to this set of challenges is Dan Boneh's Crypto class on Coursera. The coursera class is more theory-driven, whereas these challenges are more practical... they mix well.
Aug 12, 2014 mattstreet on The Matasano Crypto Challenges
So I don't know what textbook to suggest but are you aware of: I've heard it's pretty good.
Apr 18, 2014 silenteh on Ask HN: What encryption algorithms should we take as compromised?
In general you should prefer crypto constructions which are a result of global competitions. For example AES and SHA3.

You should avoid at all costs anything that has been standardized by NIST without going through years of reviews by international cryptographers. Dual_EC_DRBG is a clear example of crypto construction which falls into this category.

This is my general rule of thumb.

However knowing which ciphers one should use is not enough! You absolutely need to know HOW to use them. A basic and superficial example is AES in ECB mode, which is semantically secure as long as you use a key to encrypt one and only one single block. Another one is, for example, after how many encrypted blocks a key should be rotated, based on the underlying cipher used.

Once you have learnt how to use the basic building blocks of crypto you are then NOT supposed to write your own implementation and instead use existing ones....there is a small problem with this....they are broken or they either not implement all the necessary crypto constructions you need. OpenSSL is an example of broken crypto implementation, and instead NaCl does not have TLS implemented.

So this is a short summary and my personal opinion of why crypto is hard. On top of all this there are not enough experts out there which have the time to review crypto implementations or new and old constructions, and we are living a historical period where we desperately need crypto to protect our privacy.

So my final suggestions is to take some of your spare time and go through Dan Boneh Crypto 1 at Coursera:

It is worth every single minute.

Once you have done that, I would also suggest you to take the Matasano Crypto challenges:

Finally I want to thank everybody who have taken their time to create and maintain both Crypto 1 course and the Matasano challenges.

Apr 02, 2014 oliwary on CryptoCat iOS Application Penetration Test [pdf]
I am in the same position. Stanford Online started a Coursera course on cryptography yesterday, might be interesting for you.

Apr 01, 2014 jordn submitted Cryptography I (3 points, 0 comments)
Mar 19, 2014 TrainedMonkey on Crypto 101
Both coursera and udacity have amazing courses on crypto.


Coursera crypto I:

Coursera crypto II:

I took coursera crypto I myself. It was a lot of work, but I learned a ton.

Jan 22, 2014 midas007 on Stanford - Cryptography II
Crypto I was very well put together, Crypto II has a high threshold to maintain [0]



Jan 16, 2014 asciimo on Good fun with bad crypto
This article coincides perfectly with the online Stanford Crypto class that just started up: We just covered the principles of good encryption, and this is a great exercise to witness in that context.
Dec 19, 2013 jacalata on A Crypto Challenge For The Telegram Developers
If you're open to an online course, there's a Stanford intro one coming up on Coursera -
Nov 29, 2013 arshsingh on Ask HN: What are the basics of cryptography with regards to cryptocoins?
Sep 06, 2013 jacobmarble submitted Cryptography I (Coursera, Stanford) starts in 3 days (6 points, 0 comments)
Sep 06, 2013 mct on Ask HN: best ways to learn about cryptography
Dan Boneh's Cryptography I class on Coursera is about to start again in just a few days. I highly recommend it:
Aug 26, 2013 ballard on Don't use bcrypt (2012)
Dan did such a great job on the Stanford Crypto course, it's worth learning the basics to learn the important bits.

Aug 23, 2013 mwilcox submitted Coursera Cryptography I (1 points, 0 comments)
Jul 27, 2013 jensC on Applied Cryptography Engineering
Yes, I've heard about the Matasano's Crypto Challenge, but want to recommend Coursera's Crypto courses too:
Jul 06, 2013 enoch_r on The Strange Story of Dual_EC_DRBG – suspected NSA backdoor (2007)
I'd recommend the Coursera crypto course:
Jul 02, 2013 Strilanc on Breaking a Toy Hash Function
You might like the Matasano Crypto Challenge [1], or maybe just a coursera course on crypto [2].

1: 2:

Jun 17, 2013 sobering on Cryptography is a science, not engineering
For those interested, Dan Boneh's course on Cryptography starts another session as of today.

Jun 11, 2013 pyvek on Breaker 101: An intensive online web security course
Dan Boneh's crypto course is starting in 5 days on Coursera. Syllabus is not same as the OP's course but is very good and useful nonetheless.

Jun 08, 2013 yankoff submitted Good timing, Coursera (Cryptography I course) (1 points, 0 comments)
May 27, 2013 epsylon on You are dangerously bad at cryptography
Try Dan Boneh's crypto course on coursera [1]. It covers quite a lot of ground, both practical and theoretical, and includes programming exercises similar to the matasano puzzles. Without a doubt it's one of the best courses of the dozen MOOCs I've taken. There's also a followup course [2] (I haven't taken it yet personally, but I believe the currently scheduled run will be the first).

Interestingly enough, there's also an upcoming security course (with no date planned yet) which will cover the application programming part of security and will be co-taught by him. [3]

[1] [2] [3]

May 03, 2013 avparker on Can you crack a code?
There is the free "Cryptography 1" course on Coursera ( ).

I'm taking it right now. There's a lot of maths and theory, and it's quite a difficult course, but it's been a great way to learn the foundations of cryptography.

Mar 24, 2013 sweis submitted New session of Stanford's online crypto course by Dan Boneh (1 points, 1 comments)
Another session of Dan Boneh's online crypto course starts up tomorrow.
Dec 19, 2012 mylittlepony on Is my developer's home-brew password security right or wrong, and why?
Cryptography I by Dan Boneh (Stanford University):

The videos are probably available for download somewhere else, so you don't have to wait. Someone posted a site here on HN that saved all the coursera videos, but I can't remember the name.

Each video lasts ~20 min if I remember correctly, but they are very intensive. I never wanted to watch more than one or two per day, my mind would have blown.

Dec 19, 2012 webreac on Is my developer's home-brew password security right or wrong, and why? is excellent
Oct 21, 2012 rjones on Confusing Crypto Blobs
If you find this kind of stuff interesting, take Dan Boneh's Cryptography class on Coursera. It covers issues like this very well...

Sep 24, 2012 ghshephard on SHA-3 to Be Announced
Zenst - it sounds like you have a lot of interest in cryptography, and your lack of familiarity with PBKDF2 and friends suggests that you have just entered this space.

I highly recommend as a great introduction into some of the more interesting elements you are working through.

Sep 22, 2012 Mithrandir on From 0 to cryptography
Don't mean to be a shill for Coursera, but if you enjoyed this article you might like Coursera's crypto class: I found it really challenging in some places, but also quite fun.

Udacity also has a crypto course: I haven't tried it yet, but it looks a bit more in-depth in some places than the Coursera course.

Aug 27, 2012 rshm submitted Coursera Cryptography class starts today (2 points, 0 comments)
Jun 27, 2012 gfosco on MIT Lecture Notes on Cryptography
For those interested... You can still get in on Coursera's Intro to Cryptography course from Stanford. It's been great so far, on week 3 of 6, but you can catch up!

Jun 12, 2012 vibrunazo submitted Coursera course on cryptography (1 points, 0 comments)
Jun 10, 2012 waterlesscloud on Why you should never use hash functions for message authentication
Just finished the class today myself, and yep, that's the most repeated advice.

The class repeats starting Monday, if anyone is interested in learning the basics of how all this stuff works.

Apr 02, 2012 christiangenco on missing
Take a look at: and:

to fill those gaps. I've taken both classes at my university and have learned more in the first few lectures of these free online classes than I learned all semester at university.

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