5 must know Concepts in Cryptography

Cryptography is a key pillar to secure your data on the Internet. It provides confidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation, and authenticity. Confidentiality simply denotes the hiding of data from unauthorized users. Integrity ensures the data is in original form and not be tempered while in transit. Non-repudiation is an attribute for proving the identity and ensures a person can't deny the data forwarded by the sender. Authenticity proves that the data comes from the intended source and helps prevent spoofing.

This blog discusses 5 Must Know Key Concepts in Cryptography and list out different techniques available in cryptography for different purposes.

(1) Symmetric-key encryption algorithms

Symmetric-key encryption is a methodology in which data is encrypted and decrypted by using the same secret key. Here, both sender and receiver have secret keys that are used to secure data.

Examples of symmetric key encryption algorithms are

  • AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
  • DES (Data Encryption Standard)
  • RC4 (Rivest Cipher 4)
  • RC5 (Rivest Cipher 5)
  • RC6 (Rivest Cipher 6)
  • IDEA (International Data Encryption Algorithm)
  • Blowfish (Drop-in replacement for DES or IDEA)

(2) Public-key encryption algorithms

Public-key encryption (also called asymmetric encryption) is a methodology in which data is encrypted and decrypted by using two different keys - one is a secret key (also called private key) while the other is a public key. Here, there is no need to share secret keys initially and it is expected that the private key is protected by the owner.

Examples of asymmetric key encryption algorithms are

  • Rivest Shamir Adleman (RSA)
  • Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC)
  • the Digital Signature Standard (DSS)
  • the Diffie-Hellman exchange method
  • TLS/SSL protocol

(3) Hashing

Hashing is a method used to convert any length data into a fixed output. Hashing is basically used for proving the integrity of data.

Examples of hashing algorithms are

  • MD5
  • SHA-1
  • RIPEMD-160
  • Whirlpool
  • SHA-2
  • SHA-3
  • BLAKE2
  • BLAKE3

(4) Message Authentication Codes (MACs)

MACs use hashing and symmetric encryption techniques for proving the identity and authenticity of individuals. An example of a hashing algorithm is HMAC.

(5) Digital Signatures

Similar to MACs, Digital signatures help users for proving the integrity, non-repudiation, and authenticity of individuals. Examples of algorithms used in a digital signature are DSA, ECDSA and RSA.

Key attributes secure by different cryptography techniques

Symmetric-key encryption algorithmsconfidentiality
Public-key encryption algorithmsconfidentiality
Hashingintegrity
Message Authentication Codes (MACs)integrity, confidentiality
Digital Signaturesconfidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation

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Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Individual is solely responsible for any illegal act.

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