45: A high level introduction to cryptography

-- Wed 25 May 2022
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In this episode we give a very (very) high level introduction to cryptography concepts. No math or programming background required!


  • Crypto 101, probably the BEST book for learning about cryptography concepts. And a relevant talk from PyCon!

  • We mentioned RSA, which is the first publicly published algorithm for public key cryptography. These days most public key cryptography uses elliptic curves instead. It's possible that in the future, something else will be recommended instead!

  • Playing around with GnuPG can be a great way to learn about cryptography as a user, but... it's also not the easiest thing to learn either, and we don't personally believe that GPG/PGP's web of trust model is a realistic path for user security. (But what we recommend instead, that's a topic for a future episode.) Still, a useful tool in all sorts of ways.

  • Mixing and matching these things at a low level can be tricky, and unexpected vulnerabilities can easily occur. Cryptographic Right Answers has been a useful page, but the cryptography world keeps moving!