Encryption technology Definitions

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  • A

    Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

    The Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, is a symmetric block cipher used by the U.S. government to protect classified information and is implemented in software and hardware throughout the world to encrypt sensitive data.

  • asymmetric cryptography (public key cryptography)

    Asymmetric cryptography, also called public key cryptography, uses a pair of numerical keys that are mathematically related to encrypt and decrypt data.

  • B

    block cipher

    A block cipher is a method of encrypting text (to produce ciphertext) in which a cryptographic key and algorithm are applied to a block of data (for example, 64 contiguous bits) at once as a group rather than to one bit at a time.

  • Blowfish

    Blowfish is an encryption algorithm that can be used as a replacement for the DES or IDEA algorithms.

  • C


    A cipher (pronounced SAI-fuhr) is any method of encrypting text (concealing its readability and meaning).

  • cipher block chaining (CBC)

    Cipher block chaining (CBC) is a mode of operation for a block cipher (one in which a sequence of bits are encrypted as a single unit or block with a cipher key applied to the entire block).

  • ciphertext feedback (CFB)

    Ciphertext feedback (CFB) is a mode of operation for a block cipher. In contrast to the cipher block chaining (CBC) mode, which encrypts a set number of bits of plaintext at a time, it is at times desirable to encrypt and transfer some plaintext values instantly one at a time, for which ciphertext feedback is a method.

  • cold boot attack

    A cold boot attack is a process for obtaining unauthorized access to encryption keys stored in the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips of a computer system.

  • Content Scrambling System (CSS)

    Content Scrambling System (CSS) is a data encryption and authentication method used to protect digital versatile disk (DVD) movies from being illegally copied, distributed, and viewed from other devices, such as computer hard drives.

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis refers to the study of ciphers, ciphertext, or cryptosystems (that is, to secret code systems) with a view to finding weaknesses in them that will permit retrieval of the plaintext from the ciphertext, without necessarily knowing the key or the algorithm.

  • crypto

    Depending on its usage, crypto can be a short form for cryptography or for encryption.

  • cryptographic checksum

    A cryptographic checksum is a mathematical value (called a checksum) that is assigned to a file and used to "test" the file at a later date to verify that the data contained in the file has not been maliciously changed.

  • cryptology

    Cryptology is the mathematics, such as number theory, and the application of formulas and algorithms, that underpin cryptography and cryptanalysis.

  • cryptoperiod (key lifetime or a validity period)

    A cryptoperiod (sometimes called a key lifetime or a validity period) is a specific time span during which a cryptographic key setting remains in effect.

  • D

    Data Encryption Standard (DES)

    The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is an outdated symmetric-key method of data encryption.