Everything there is to know about Cryptology
The term: Cryptology
The word cryptology has Greek origins and was derived from the word Krypto meaning ‘to hide’. The science of cryptology encompasses two branches namely:
- Cryptography: designing algorithms or secret writing
- Cryptanalysis: breaking encryptions (secrets)
Whenever one hears the word cryptology, the very first thought that touches the mind is private communication via encryption. But there is more to it than just encryption. This blog post will try to cover everything there is to know about cryptology
Cryptology’s basic principles
Conversion of plaintext into an unreadable, undetectable form (ciphertext) is termed encryption. encryption techniques are applied to maintain the privacy of data between the sender and receiver. The data once it reaches the receiver’s side can easily be decrypted using a special key to be brought back into it initial form. Both the concepts of decryption and encryption require some extra information know as the key. Although in majority of cases, there are separate keys for both the processes; encryption and decryption can also attained using one key for both.
Loss of integrity is yet again an important issue to address when it comes to message authenticity between the sender and receiver. Cryptology tries to ensure that the messages received have not been tempered with or affected by any sorts of viruses in between the process off sending and receiving. This is commonly accomplished by cryptology’s Hash function.
Imagine if Alice sent a message to Bob but denies that she wasn’t the one to send it? In such cases originality of the message becomes a question as to who is the claimed originator. Under such circumstance, cryptology techniques try to prevent such acts using tools like digital signatures.
Authentication, yet another important concept of cryptology ensures that the message developed is authentic and is actually from the originator as it claims. You may think how that is even possible, but it is. Suppose, there are two people named Bob and Alice who are currently in a communicative pattern via messages. Bob receives a text from Alice’s phone but isn’t sure if the message was actually sent by Alice herself. To ensure, Bob asks Alice (or whoever sent that message) to perform a certain action or sent something in message that only Alice can do or knows about. This way bob can identify if the originating message was sent by Alice herself or not. The same principles of authentications are based on this pattern.
There are three basic cryptology types.
- Secret key Cryptography
- Public key cryptography
- Hash Functions
Secret key cryptography technique uses a single key. The sender uses a key to encrypt a message and the receiver uses the same key for decrypting the message. This is also known as symmetric encryption
Cryptology technique involves two key cryptology systems to ensure secure communication between the sender and receiver. A pair of keys is used in this technique thus the term asymmetric encryption. Both the parties in this case have a private and public key. The private key is secret and isn’t revealed whereas the public key is shared with all the communicating individuals.
Hash functions don’t require the assistance of keys. It uses a fixed hash value to be computed in the plaintext to ensure the integrity of the message hasn’t been compromised, altered or affected.