Unformatted text preview: t messages. As long as the communication needs to remain secret, the key must remain secret. Encryption and decryption with a symmetric algorithm are denoted by: EK(M) = C DK(C) = M Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. To access the contents, click the chapter and section titles. Applied Cryptography, Second Edition: Protocols, Algorthms, and Source Code in C (cloth)
Brief Full Advanced Search Search Tips (Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) Author(s): Bruce Schneier ISBN: 0471128457 Publication Date: 01/01/96 Search this book:
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----------- Symmetric algorithms can be divided into two categories. Some operate on the plaintext a single bit (or sometimes byte) at a time; these are called stream algorithms or stream ciphers. Others operate on the plaintext in groups of bits. The groups of bits are called blocks, and the algorithms are called block algorithms or block ciphers. For modern computer algorithms, a typical block size is 64 bits—large enough to preclude analysis and small enough to be workable. (Before computers, algorithms generally operated on plaintext one character at a time. You can think of this as a stream algorithm operating on a stream of characters.) Public-Key Algorithms
Public-key algorithms (also called asymmetric algorithms) are designed so that the key used for encryption is different from the key used for decryption. Furthermore, the decryption key cannot (at least in any reasonable amount of time) be calculated from the encryption key. The algorithms are called “public-key” because the encryption key can be made public: A complete stranger can use the encryption key to encrypt a message, but only a specific person with the corresponding decryption key can decrypt the message. In these systems, the encryption key is often called the public key, and the decryption key is often called the private key. The private key is sometimes also called the secret key, but to avoid confusion with...
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