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There are many books about cryptography written for laypeople, yes. One example of which I am aware, though I have never read it, is The Code Book by Simon Singh. The "recommended" section of its Amazon page has more titles which seem to be in the same vein.


symmetric ciphers are based on exactly the same and ONE and ONLY key on both sides. asymmetric ones are based on one or more exactly the same keys on both sides and at least one truly private key on each side, if we're talking about a bidirectional communication. key size is not important here.


I don't think it is right. The reason why RSA in particular uses such a high bit count, is that RSA's security is based on factorization of integers and integers with up to 100 digits (roughly 300 bits) can be "easily" factorized with the Quadratic Sieve. In general, there are asymmetric ciphers like those based on elliptic curve cryptography that also use ...


I don't believe he is answering the right question. You essentially asked "why are public keys so much larger than symmetric keys", and after his first sentence (which started to address the question, but was a bit vague), he tried to answer the distinct question "why are public key operations so much slower" (not that he got the details of that correct; ...


What is the functional role they play? They exist to identify the SA. That is, when an IKE implementation receives an IKE packet, it is able to use the cookies to identify the SA that the packet corresponds to. Why not simply use an SPI value like IPsec does? Why do you think there is some fundamental difference between the cookies that IKE uses, ...


Passwords should use a password hashing function. Password hashing functions are different from basic cryptographic hashes, though they use cryptographic hashes as part of their construction. Password hashing functions must use salt. (Password hashing functions can also tune their time and/or memory usage, cryptographic hashes generally can't.) So for your ...

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