Cryptography is the practice and study of hiding information. In modern times, cryptography is considered a branch of both mathematics and computer science, and is affiliated closely with information theory, computer security, and engineering. Cryptography is used in applications present in technologically advanced societies; examples include the security of ATM cards, computer passwords, and electronic commerce, which all depend on cryptography. concealment of meaning. However, in cryptography, code has a more specific meaning; it means the replacement of a unit of plaintext (i.e., a meaningful word or phrase) with a code word (for example, apple pie replaces attack at dawn). Codes are no longer used in serious cryptography except incidentally for such things as unit designations (e.g., Bronco Flight or Operation Overlord) since properly chosen ciphers are both more practical and more secure than even the best codes, and better adapted to computers as well. Some use the terms cryptography and cryptology interchangeably in English, while others (including US military practice generally) use cryptography to refer specifically to the use and practice of cryptographic techniques, and cryptology to refer to the combined study of cryptography and cryptanalysis. English is more flexible than some other languages in which cryptology (done by cryptologists) is used in the second sense above. In the English Wikipedia, the general term used is cryptography (done by cryptographers). The study of characteristics of languages which have some application in cryptography (or cryptology), i.e. frequency data, letter combinations, universal patterns, etc. is called cryptolinguistics.

The German Lorenz cipher machine, used in World War II for encryption of very high-level general staff messages

Until modern times, cryptography referred almost exclusively to encryption, the process of converting ordinary information (plaintext) into unintelligible gibberish (i.e., ciphertext). Decryption is the reverse, moving from unintelligible ciphertext to plaintext. A cipher (or cypher) is a pair of algorithms which creates the encryption and the reversing decryption. The detailed operation of a cipher is controlled both by the algorithm and, in each instance, by a key. This is a secret parameter (ideally, known only to the communicants) for a specific message exchange context. Keys are important, as ciphers without variable keys are trivially breakable and therefore less than useful for most purposes. Historically, ciphers were often used directly for encryption or decryption, without additional procedures such as authentication or integrity checks. In colloquial use, the term "code" is often used to mean any method of encryption or

Modern cryptography
The modern field of cryptography can be divided into several areas of study. The chief ones are discussed here; see Topics in Cryptography for more.

ideally. which very quickly requires comple key management schemes to keep them all straight and secret. A block cipher is. Many have been thoroughly broken. The Data Encryption Standard (DES and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES are block cipher designs which have been designated cryptography standards by the S government (though DES's designation was finally withdrawn after the AES was adopted). less commonly. and output a block of cipherte t of the same size. it is used across a wide range of applications. used in some versions o PGP for high-speed encryption of. when a secure channel doesn't already e ist between them.5) o the patented IDEA cipher. share a different key. in a sense. and perhaps each cipherte t e changed as well. Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman proposed the notion of public-key (also.single block. The number of keys required increases as the square of the number of network members. Despite its deprecation as an official standard. They are the modes of operation and must be carefully considered when using a block cipher in a cryptosystem. called asymmetric key) cryptography in which two & & & & ¢  ¤ £    ¦   ¦ ¡   Symmetric-key cryptosystems use the same key for encryption and decryption of a message. but related in an easily computable way This was the only kind of encryption publicly known until June 1976. The 3 b 5 mm chip embedded in the card is shown enlarged in the insert. Public-key cryptogr p y " " # % $ ! A cred card with smart card capabilities. Several have been developed. A significant disadvantage of symmetric ciphers is the key management necessary to use them securely. a modern embodiment of Alberti's polyalphabetic cipher: block ciphers take as input a block of plainte t and a key. Symmetric-key cryptogr p y Sy e c. Smart cards attempt to combine portability with the power to compute modern cryptographic algorithms. Each distinct pair of communicating parties must. some method of knitting together successive blocks is re uired. some with better security in one aspect or another than others. . e-mail  The modern study of symmetric-key ciphers relates mainly to the study of block ciphers and stream ciphers and to their applications.   § § © ¨§  ¥¥  One round (out o 8. in which their keys are different. Since messages are almost always longer than a In a groundbreaking 1976 paper. more generally.ey cy y re ers to e cry tion methods in which both the sender and receiver share the same key (or. from ATM encryption to e-mail privacy and secure remote access. also presents a chicken-and-egg problem which is a considerable practical obstacle for cryptography users in the real world. DES (especially its still-approved and much more secure triple-DES variant) remains quite popular. with considerable variation in quality. The difficulty of securely establishing a secret key between two communicating parties. See Category:Block ciphers. Many other block ciphers have been designed and released. for instance. though a message or group of messages may have a different key than others.

These primitives provide fundamental properties. provided the key material is truly random. which guarantee one or more high-level security properties. see Cryptanalysis of the Enigma for some historical examples of this). the public key may be freely distributed. exponentially dependent on the key size.. Since no such showing can be made currently. can be broken with enough computational effort by brute force attack. authors of the first paper on public. for example. and of equal or greater length than the message. the one-time-pad remains the only theoretically unbreakable cipher. Note however. In connection with his WWII work at Bell Labs. an example is gardening. as compared to the effort needed to use the cipher.e. Most ciphers. Claude Shannon proved that the one-time pad cipher is unbreakable. In a known-plaintext attack. Instead. Diffie and Hellman showed that public-key cryptography was possible by presenting the Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol. but the amount of effort needed may be ( ' ( Cryptographic primitives Much of the theoretical work in cryptography concerns cryptographic primitives algorithms with basic cryptographic properties and their relationship to other cryptographic problems. as an interrelated pair. . The historian David Kahn described public-key cryptography as "the most revolutionary new concept in the field since polyalphabetic substitution emerged in the Renaissance". often overwhelmingly so. Finally. In such cases.Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. "work factor". The public ey is typically used for encryption. even though they are necessarily related. effective security could be achieved if it is proven that the effort required (i. and they can be classified in any of several ways. which are used to develop more complex tools called cryptosystems or cryptographic protocols. in Shannon's terms) is beyond the ability of any adversary. the cryptanalyst has access to a ciphertext and its corresponding plaintext (or to many such pairs). used by the British during WWII. both keys are generated secretly. There are a wide variety of cryptanalytic attacks.ey cryptography different but mathematically related keys are used a public key and a private key. Cryptanalysis The goal of cryptanalysis is to find some weakness or insecurity in a cryptographic scheme. apart from the one-time pad. In public-key cryptosystems. never reused. the cryptanalyst may choose a plaintext and learn its corresponding ciphertext (perhaps many times). This means it must be shown that no efficient method (as opposed to the time-consuming brute force method) can be found to break the cipher. kept secret from all possible attackers. as of today. are mistakes (generally in the design or use of one of the protocols involved. More complicated cryptographic tools are then built from these basic primitives. is quite arbitrary. A common distinction turns on what an attacker knows and what capabilities are available. In a chosenplaintext attack. It is a commonly held misconception that every encryption method can be broken. A public key system is so constructed that calculation of one key (the 'private key') is computationally infeasible from the other (the 'public key'). in a chosen-ciphertext attack. while its paired private key must remain secret. that the distinction between cryptographic primitives and cryptosystems. while the private or secret ey is used for decryption. In a ciphertext-only attack. Also important. the cryptanalyst has access only to the ciphertext (good modern cryptosystems are usually effectively immune to ciphertext-only attacks). the cryptanalyst may be able to choose ciphertexts and learn their corresponding plaintexts. thus permitting its subversion or evasion.

Cryptosystems One or more cryptographic primitives are often used to develop a more complex algorithm. The study of how best to implement and integrate cryptography in software applications is itself a distinct field. etc. and sometimes a primitive. etc. CPA security in the random oracle model).g. there has been considerable effort to develop formal techniques for establishing the security of cryptosystems.the RSA algorithm is sometimes considered a cryptosystem. Cryptosystems (e. In many cases.).. (like zeroknowledge proofs. compromise some security aspect of the cryptosystem (ie. a sophisticated cryptosystem can be derived from a combination of several more primitive cryptosystems. PGP. this has been generally called provable El-Gamal encryption. systems for secret sharing. etc. between the sender of a secure message and its receiver) or across time (e. signcryption systems. less practical) cryptosystems include interactive proof systems.g. Some widely known cryptosystems include RSA encryption. Recently.g. called a cryptographic system. Of Image source: images. most security properties of most cryptosystems were demonstrated using empirical techniques. public key encryption) while guaranteeing certain security properties (e.e. El-Gamal encryption) are designed to provide particular functionality (e. Till recently. The general idea of provable security is to give arguments about the computational difficulty needed to Reference Data source: www. Schnorr signature. the cryptosystem's structure involves back and forth communication among two or more parties in space ( .. see: cryptographic engineering and security engineering. Such cryptosystems are sometimes called cryptographic protocols. Some more 'theoretical' (i. etc. More complex cryptosystems include electronic cash systems. Typical examples of cryptographic primitives include pseudorandom functions. as the distinction between primitives and cryptosystems is somewhat arbitrary. cryptographically protected backup data). Cryptosystems use the properties of the underlying cryptographic primitives to support the system's security properties. or cryptosystem.g.g. one-way functions.wikipedia. to any adversary).. or using ad hoc reasoning.

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