Book Review: Network Security with OpenSSL

Wednesday, 30 October 2002, 12:44 PM EST

This isn't a general audience book. This is a book aimed almost solely at programmers who will be working with OpenSSL. The only chapter of real use to admins is chapter 2, which covers the command-line interface in great detail.

For general *nix hobbyists, it's not a book you'll want to tackle unless you really need to make use of OpenSSL in a program. It's not an engaging read, cryptography is a pretty dry subject unless you find it interesting. While the authors do a great job of covering their chosen topics well, they never really bring any excitement to the topic. I know, that's probably a bit too much to ask, but you do run across the occasional computer book that actually makes the topic fun as well as informative (Programming Perl comes to mind.) If any topic needs to be spiced up, it's cryptography.

Note that the book spends no time at all on the internals of OpenSSL or the SSL protocol. You will need to look elsewhere to get an understanding of the actual SSL protocol.

If you are in the small group of people who needs to use OpenSSL in a program, this is just the thing you're looking for. It's chock full of great coverage on programming with OpenSSL, and is probably the single best reference for OpenSSL out there. Don't hesitate to add this one to your library, it'll be money well spent.

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