Free Course on Cryptography for Programmers

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Crypto 101 is a free course on Cryptography for programmers. This course on cryptography is available in PDF format, which means that you can take this course even when offline. The PDF format also ensures that you don’t have to worry about device compatibility, since you can transfer the course material to any device supporting PDF. This free cryptography course is sponsored by Rackspace.

The course is equally beneficial for the programmers of all ages and proficiency level. It covers all the aspects of Cryptography, ranging from beginner to advanced. You will find topics like Block Cipher, Stream Cipher, Public Key-encryption to the SSL/TLS, OpenPGP and GPG.

Crypto 101 Free Course on Cryptography

Note: The Crypto 101 web page mentions this course as Pre-release so I am not sure what does Pre-release exactly mean. So I would recommend you to bookmark the Crypto 101 web page so that you can check for any future updates or changes that may come.

Let’s see what this free course on Cryptography has to offer in detail.

Features of this Free Course on Cryptography for Programmers:

The very first thing that you need to do is to download the course material to start with this free course on Cryptography for programmers. You can get the course material from Crypto 101 Github page. The course material is in PDF format so you will need any PDF reader to open it.

The complete course material has 4 parts: Foreword, Building Blocks, Complete Cryptosystems, and Appendices.

Contents of Course Material


This part of this free course on Cryptography is similar to like that of other books. In it, the course developer has described the stuff like about this book, development steps, acknowledgements etc.. This part is not important for learning the Cryptography but if you are interested to know about who are the creators of this course, why did they create this and how, then you can go through this part.

Building Blocks:

As the name suggests, this parts deals with the basics of Cryptography, which will help you in understanding the higher level of concepts. It includes topics like Ex-OR, Block Cipher, Stream Cipher, Key Exchange, Public Key-encryption, Hash Function, Signature Algorithms, and similar other topics.

Index of Topics Under Parts

Each topic is then further divided into sub-topics which helps in you getting the in-depth knowledge about it. The topics include images to explain important concepts better and clearly. Whenever there are some tricky terms, then they are labelled with number, which are explained at the bottom of very same page.

Concepts with Relevant Images

The other cool part of this course material is that it has hyperlinked important terms to other relevant pages where they have been explained more precisely. So, if you find any term which has been hyperlinked then do click on it to know more about it.

So, if you are a beginner in Cryptography, then this section will help you get an idea of cryptography, its basics, and other stuff to get a taste of cryptography. If you are someone who is above the level of beginner, then you can use it go back to your basics and polish them, so that you are well prepared for the higher levels of concepts.

Complete Cryptosystems:

This part has mainly 3 concepts for you to learn: SSL and TLS, OpenPGP and GPG, and Off-The-Message Recording (OTR). These concepts will take you through the higher levels and things of cryptography. The structure and process of going through the topics is the same as for the Building Blocks section.

You can also checkout this presentation video of Crypto 101 at PyCon 2013:

Final Verdict:

Crypto 101 is an awesome free course on Cryptography for beginners. The course covers all the important aspects of cryptography in detail with relevant images. The availability of course material offline and that too in PDF makes it accessible from anywhere on any device. If you are programmer or cryptography fascinates you, then its a must try course for you.

Get Crypto 101 Course Material here.

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