deniable encryption definition

Deniable encryption is a type of cryptography that allows an encrypted text to be decrypted in two or more ways, depending on which decryption key is used. The use of two or more keys allows the sender, theoretically, to conceal or deny the existence of a controversial message in favor of a more benign decryption. For instance, a company may send an encrypted message to its high-level administrative staff whose key decrypts the message to read "We have no plans to change our business model", while the board of directors receives the same message that using its own key decrypts the same message to read "We are going bankrupt at this rate and need to let 20,000 people go, including high-level administrators". Deniable encryption is sometimes used for misinformation purposes when the sender anticipates, or even encourages, interception of a communication.

This was first published in September 2005

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