information (plaintext) into unintelligiblecipher text Decryption is the reverse,moving from unintelligible cipher text toplaintext. A cipher is a pair of algorithmswhich creates the encryption and thereversing decryption. The detailed operationof a cipher is controlled both by thealgorithm and, in each instance, by a key.This is a secret parameter for aspecific message exchange context. Keys areimportant, as ciphers without variable keysare trivially breakable and therefore lessthan useful for most purposes. Historically,ciphers were often used directly forencryption or decryption, without additionalprocedures such as authentication orintegrity checks.
There are various security requirements for aCryptographic technique including:
The process of provingone's identity. (The primary forms of host-to-host authentication on the Internet todayare name-based or address-based, both of which are notoriously weak.)
Ensuring that noone can read the message except theintended receiver.
Assuring the receiver that thereceived message has not been altered in anyway from the original.
: A mechanism to provethat the sender really sent this message.Any new design of Cryptographictechnique must accomplish the aboverequisites. Cryptography not only protectsdata from theft or alteration, but can also beused for user authentication.
In general, three types of cryptographic schemes typically used toaccomplish these goals:1.
Secret Key Cryptography (SKC):Uses a single key for both encryptionand decryption2.
Public Key Cryptography (PKC):Uses one key for encryption andanother for decryption3.
Hash Functions:Uses a mathematical transformation toirreversibly "encrypt" information