Overview of Cryptography
Cryptography provides a set of techniques for encoding data and messages such
that the data and messages can be stored and transmitted securely. This section
introduces the basic terminology of cryptography and explains some of the
common methods used.
Cryptography can be used to achieve secure communications, even when the
transmission media (for example, the Internet) is untrustworthy. You can also use
cryptography to encrypt your sensitive files, so that an intruder cannot
Cryptography can be used to ensure data integrity as well as maintain secrecy.
Using cryptography, it becomes possible to verify the origin of data and
messages. This is done using digital signatures, which are explained a little later
in this chapter.
When using cryptographic methods, the only part that must remain secret is the
cryptographic keys. The algorithms, the key sizes, and file formats can be
made public without compromising security.
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