Cryptographic Public key can be shared with

Cryptographic algorithms are a set of mathematical functions and a series of steps used in encryption and decryption of any given data. Main goal of any cryptography algorithm is to make decryption of the ciphertext more and more difficult without using the cipher Key. Cryptography algorithms can be classified into many different types based on the steps involved and keys used, and each algorithm has its own pros and cons. The cryptography algorithms are mainly classified into two types Symmetric and Asymmetric encryption algorithms.Symmetric encryption algorithm uses a single key that needs to be shared between the sender and the receiver. The sender uses that key to encrypt the plain text and the receiver uses the exact same key to decrypt the cipher text and obtain the plain text. Asymmetric encryption is the encryption algorithm that is also known as public key cryptography. It uses 2 keys, public and private key to encrypt and decrypt the data. Public key can be shared with everyone, but the private key is kept secret. Either public key and private key can be utilized in encryption of the message, but the key that’s not used in encryption has be used to decrypt the message. Few examples of symmetric and asymmetric cryptography algorithms are discussed below.DES was originally designed by IBM in 1970’s in collaboration with the NSA and US federal government adopted it as the official encryption of sensitive computer data. Later the algorithm was adopted commercially in 1977. DES is a block cipher where the algorithm is applied to block data rather than one bit at a time. DES uses 64 bit key, so the plain text is divided into 64bit blocks and converted into cipher text. For any cipher the key length determines the number of possible keys. Since DES uses 64 bit key out of which 8 are used for parity checks, it is easy for a hacker to find the right key using brute force attack.In 2001 DES was replaced with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) as a federal government encryption standard to encrypt the classified information. AES is also a block cipher that uses Symmetric cryptography. AES is a block cipher that uses a block length of 128 bits, and has an option to use 128 bit, 192 bit or 256 bit as its key length.¬†RSA is an Asymmetric algorithm that is also embedded in TLS/SSL protocol, that most of the encrypted traffic over the internet uses. RSA is also used by most the IT companies to encrypt the data over their VPN. Because of its long key length, it takes requires large computing power and time to break the code. RSA typically uses 1024 or 2048 bits length keys. The basic difference that makes RSA stand out from other Asymmetric algorithms is the it’s key generation algorithm. RSA is based on the fact that it is difficult to factorize any large integer that is obtained because of a product of 2 large prime numbers.¬†Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) also an asymmetric encryption algorithm which has recently become more popular among cryptographers. ECC can generate keys faster and smaller but more efficient than RSA keys by using technique that is based on elliptical curve theory. Elliptic curve equation is used in generation of the keys. So, in order for a hacker to break the key, he must compute the elliptic curve discrete logarithm, which is exponentially more difficult that the factoring technique used by RSA. Hence ECC can use smaller key sizes compared RSA, but is as secure as RSA and requires less computing.


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