<cryptography> The practise and study of encryption and decryption -
encoding data so that it can only be decoded by specific individuals. A system
for encrypting and decrypting data is a cryptosystem. These usually involve an
algorithm for combining the original data ("plaintext") with one or more "keys"
- numbers or strings of characters known only to the sender and/or recipient.
The resulting output is known as "ciphertext".
The security of a cryptosystem usually depends on the secrecy of (some of) the
keys rather than with the supposed secrecy of the algorithm. A strong
cryptosystem has a large range of possible keys so that it is not possible to
just try all possible keys (a "brute force" approach). A strong cryptosystem
will produce ciphertext which appears random to all standard statistical tests.
A strong cryptosystem will resist all known previous methods for breaking codes
See also cryptology, public-key encryption, RSA.
Usenet newsgroups: sci.crypt, sci.crypt.research.
RSA cryptography glossary.
Cryptography, PGP, and Your Privacy.
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