Introduction to Cryptography
Cryptography is one of the areas about security that many feel is difficult to approach. Encryption, certificates, signatures, public keys, hashing – these are terms that most people like to keep at arm’s length.
That is until you’ve read a good introduction to the subject. Although the topic of cryptography is large and very deep, a good introduction easily provides the concepts in which to frame your thoughts and discussion on the subject. At the very least, it can help give you an idea about what that big mess of text is at the bottom of types.mshxml :)
For this purpose, I’ve always held Phil Zimmermann’s “Introduction to Cryptography” paper in high regard. You can find it at ftp://ftp.pgpi.org/pub/pgp/6.5/docs/english/IntroToCrypto.pdf.
Phil Zimmermann created PGP, a very early suite of encryption software.
[Edit: Monad has now been renamed to Windows PowerShell. This script or discussion may require slight adjustments before it applies directly to newer builds.]