There is no flawlessly secure computer, there will always be bugs and viruses no matter how advanced and complex these systems evolve. Thus, system architects use an employing strategy called “defensive depth” which utilises many layers of varying security mechanisms to demoralise attackers. We have one of the most everyday forms of computer security cryptography. The word cryptography comes from the words “crypto” and “Griffey” which translates to “secret”. To make information secret, you use a cypher, an algorithm that allows you to convert plaintext to ciphertext which is gibberish unless you have a special key that lets you undo the cypher, this process of making texts secret is called encryption and the reverse process is called decryption.
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Long before computers were invented, cyphers were employed. To encrypt private correspondence, Julius Caesar utilised what is now known as a season cypher. He would forwards the letters in a message by three spaces (A became D). The recipients of the message had to understand both the algorithm and the numbers shift, which served as the key. The Caesar cypher is an example of a wider family of techniques known as substitution cyphers, which replace each letter in a message with something else based on a translation. The fact that letter frequencies are kept is a significant disadvantage of basic replacement cyphers. For example, the letter A is the most commonly used in English. So, if the cypher converts A to an X, then X will appear the most frequently. Within the ciphertext, A experienced cryptanalyst can work backwards from such statistics to deduce the message. Permutation cyphers are the most fundamental type of method. Let’s have a look at a simple example known as a common are transposition cypher. In this section, we take a message and fill the letters into a grid. We picked 5 by 5 to encrypt the town message in this example, and we read out the characters in a different order. Let’s imagine you start at the bottom left and work your way up, one column at a time, and the encrypted message is what’s known as a permutation. The key is the ordering orientation as well as the five-by-five grid size. As previously stated, if the ciphering key is unknown to the recipient, the procedure can be reversed. Similarly to earlier, if the ciphering key is unknown to the recipient, the process can be reversed through the original message. By the 1900s, cryptography had been mechanised in the form of encryption machines.
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Cryptography is crucial because it allows you to securely protect data that you do not want others to see. It is used to safeguard corporate secrets, preserve classified information, and safeguard personal information against identity theft. Let us begin by using an example of a scenario to explain what cryptography is. Assume we have a person named Anne. Anne sends a message to her friend Sam on the other side of the globe.
She wants this communication to be secret, and no one else should be able to see it. She now sends this message via a public platform, such as the Internet. The purpose is to safeguard this communication, and we must, of course, be protected from someone. Assume there is a brilliant guy named Eve who has covertly gained access to a communication channel. Because he has access to your conversation, he can do much more than just listen in. He could, for example, try to modify the message. Now, this is just a little example; what if Eve gains access to your personal information? Well, that might lead to a major disaster.
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So, how can Anne be certain that no one in the middle can see the message she gave to Sam? The idea here is to secure communication, which is where cryptography comes in. So, what is cryptography exactly? Cryptography is the practice and study of strategies for safeguarding communication and data in the face of adversaries.
So, initially, we have a message, which is translated into a numeric form, and this numeric form is then applied to a key called an encryption key, which is then employed in the encryption procedure. So, after applying an encryption technique to the numeric message and the encryption key. What we get is known as ciphertext. This cipher-text is now transferred over the network to the other side of the world, where the person to whom the message is intended will use a decryption key cipher-text as a parameter of the decryption process, and he will receive what we delivered as a message.
So, let’s look at how cryptography can help safeguard Anne and Sam’s relationship. In order to safeguard her message, Anne begins by converting his readable communication into an unintelligible form. In this case, she converts a message to random numbers and then uses a key to encrypt her message. By applying this key to the numerical form of his message, she obtains a new value in cryptography, which we call cipher-text.
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Anne will no longer have to worry about someone in the middle detecting the private message if she sends the cipher-text or encrypted message via a communication channel. Even if someone discovers the message, they will be unable to decrypt it unless they have the appropriate key to unlock this communication. Imagine Eve discovers the message and somehow manages to tamper with it, resulting in the message ultimately reaching its destination. Sam would need a key to decrypt the communication in order to recover the original plaintext, therefore you could use the key to transform ciphertext to a numerical value that corresponded to the plaintext. After using the key to decode the message, it will either be the original plaintext message or an error.
This is a critical error at this point. It’s how Sam understands that a message sent by Anne isn’t the same as one he got. In a sense, the error indicates that Eve modified the message. The critical thing to remember here is that in current cryptography, the system’s security is solely dependent on keeping the encryption and decryption keys secret. Cryptography is split into the following categories based on the type of keys used in encryption algorithms. Now, cryptography is divided into two categories: symmetric key cryptography and asymmetric key cryptography, often known as public-key cryptography.