applied cryptography - protocols, algorithms, and source code in c

Someone else must eat the cake to make it a protocol

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Unformatted text preview: raphy is to solve problems. (Actually, that’s the whole point of computers—something many people tend to forget.) Cryptography solves problems that involve secrecy, authentication, integrity, and dishonest people. You can learn all about cryptographic algorithms and techniques, but these are academic unless they can solve a problem. This is why we are going to look at protocols first. A protocol is a series of steps, involving two or more parties, designed to accomplish a task. This is an important definition. A “series of steps” means that the protocol has a sequence, from start to finish. Every step must be executed in turn, and no step can be taken before the previous step is finished. “Involving two or more parties” means that at least two people are required to complete the protocol; one person alone does not make a protocol. A person alone can perform a series of steps to accomplish a task (like baking a cake), but this is not a protocol. (Someone else must eat the cake to make it a protocol.) Finally, “designed to accomplish a task” means that the protocol must achieve something. Something that looks like a protocol but does not accomplish a task is not a protocol—it’s a waste of time. Protocols have other characteristics as well: — Everyone involved in the protocol must know the protocol and all of the steps to follow in advance. — Everyone involved in the protocol must agree to follow it. — The protocol must be unambiguous; each step must be well defined and there must be no chance of a misunderstanding. — The protocol must be complete; there must be a specified action for every possible situation. The protocols in this book are organized as a series of steps. Execution of the protocol proceeds linearly through the steps, unless there are instructions to branch to another step. Each step involves at least one of two things: computations by one or more of the parties, or messages sent among the parties. A cryptographic protocol is a protocol that uses cryp...
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