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RSA Laboratories’ Frequently Asked Questions About Today’s Cryptography, v4.0 2 Copyright © 1996, 1998 RSA Data Security, Inc. All rights reserved. RSA BSAFE Crypto-C, RSA BSAFE Crypto-J, PKCS, S/WAN, RC2, RC4, RC5, MD2, MD4, and MD5 are trade- marks or registered trademarks of RSA Data Security, Inc. Other products and names are trademarks or regis- tered trademarks of their respective owners. For permission to reprint or redistribute in part or in whole, send e-mail to pubs@rsa.com or contact your RSA representative. RSA Laboratories’ Frequently Asked Questions About Today’s Cryptography, v4.0 3 Table of Contents Table of Contents............................................................................................ 3 Foreword......................................................................................................... 8 Section 1: Introduction .................................................................................... 9 Question 1.1. What is the RSA Laboratories’ Frequently Asked Questions About Today’s Cryptography? ................................................................................................................ 9 Question 1.2. What is cryptography? ............................................................................................ 10 Question 1.3. What are some of the more popular techniques in cryptography?................... 11 Question 1.4. How is cryptography applied? ............................................................................... 12 Question 1.5. What are cryptography standards? ....................................................................... 14 Question 1.6. What is the role of the United States government in cryptography? ............... 15 Question 1.7. Why is cryptography important? ........................................................................... 16 Section 2: Cryptography................................................................................ 18 Section 2.1: Cryptographic Tools .....................................................................................................18 Question 2.1.1. What is public-key cryptography?...................................................................... 18 Question 2.1.2. What is secret-key cryptography?....................................................................... 19 Question 2.1.3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of public-key cryptography compared with secret-key cryptography?...................................................... 20 Question 2.1.4. What is a block cipher? ......................................................................................... 21 Question 2.1.5. What is a stream cipher? ...................................................................................... 25 Question 2.1.6. What is a hash function? ...................................................................................... 27 Question 2.1.7. What are Message Authentication Codes (MACs)? ......................................... 28What are Message Authentication Codes (MACs)?... View Full Document

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