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<*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 ("cryptanalysis").

See also cryptology, public-key encryption, RSA.

Usenet newsgroups: news:sci.crypt, news:sci.crypt.research.

FAQ MIT (ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/cryptography-faq/).

Cryptography glossary (http://io.com/~ritter/GLOSSARY.HTM#BruteForceAttack).

RSA cryptography glossary (http://rsasecurity.com/rsalabs/faq/glossary.html).

Cryptography, PGP, and Your Privacy (http://draco.centerline.com:8080/~franl/crypto.html).

(2000-01-16)

Nearby terms: crypt « cryptanalysis « Crypt Breakers Workbench « **cryptography** » CryptoLocker » cryptology » Crystal

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