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Cryptography is both an art and a
science that deals specifically with protecting and preserving information,
both in integrity and confidentiality. With the technology in play, any
individual unaware method used to transform the information cannot alert or
view the content. Information being encrypted can be anything. It’s individual choice
how he/she transform the information using his/her desired method.

Encryption:

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            Encryption,
it takes the information and converts it to an unreadable format

that can be reversed. The unreadable
text can only be reversed under a very specify set of conditions that will
alone encrypted information to be decrypted. Encryption is a way of protecting
information from the unauthorized users.

Plaintext/cleartext

         Plaintext is the original
unadulterated text or message. It has been not transformed in any way. Plain
text can literally be anything.

Ciphertext                                                                                      

         This is opposite of plain text; the
data has been transformed into different format using a mechanism known as an
algorithm.

Key

         It’s important to understand keys to
understand the encryption process fully. A key is a discrete piece of
information that is used to determine the result or output of a given
cryptographic operation. It is the same way as a key in the physical world. Keys
can be weak or strong depending on the design of the algorithm.

Key Length

Value

40

No use to any
organizations. Effective at stopping causal attackers.

56

Good for privacy. But it has been
broken. Example: DES best

64

Safe, but vulnerable and
has been broken.

128

Considered generally unbreakable,
but with new technologies implementations have been vulnerable.

256

Impossible to break even
with present technologies.

 

It may seem like keys of 4.096 bits
are great, so using 10,000 bits or longer is better, but here we need to create
dedicated hardware to process these keys. 123 and 256 bits are strong enough to
defeat brute force attacks that have been employed today. A longer key equates
to a longer encrypt/decrypt time.

 

 

Algorithms

         The algorithm or cipher is formula
that includes discrete steps that describe how the encryption/decryption
process is to be performed in each instance. Algorithms are either symmetric or
asymmetric, both systems have their own algorithms used to provide Ciphertext.

Asymmetric

         Asymmetric
methods are more complex and much more complex than the symmetric systems, in
its process, operate on input by running it through series of mathematical opreations
before converting back into text. Recipient needs to use the same application
to decode the message that used to encode

Symmetric

         in this system
data is broken into blocks or processed, bit by bit. The process involves the
use of a key that is encrypted along with the data itself. Symmetric inputs a
data along with the key to scramble the data into Ciphertext.

Do great at:

·     
Preserving confidentiality.

·     
Speed

·     
Simplicity

·     
Authenticity

        

Do poor at:

·     
Key management

·     
Non-repudiation

Common Symmetric Algorithms:

·      Data Encryption Standard (DES):  DES is adopted by the
US government in 1977, it is still in use. 56-bit key algorithm, key is too
short to be used today and have serious security applications. It is need to be
replaced with modern algorithm.

·      Triple DES (3DES): The algorithm is extension of DES algorithm, three times powerful than
the DES and optimized for use today. Algorithm uses 168-bit key.

·      Blowfish: It
is designed to be strong, fast, and simple. The algorithm uses a 444-bit key
and is designed and optimized for use in present.

·      MARS: An AES
finalist developed by IBM with key length 128 to 256 bits.

·      RC5: It Is
like RC2 and RC4, but key length is defined by the user.

As the technology grows at rapid
speeds security places an important role. With the new technology and
implementations are coming up they is a need to replace and implement strong
algorithms to protect the information in present world.

References

Cryptography
InfoSec pro guide by Sean Philip Oriyano.

Lecture Slides
by Dr. Donald McCracken.

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