cryptography[krip tä′grə fē]
- the art of writing or deciphering messages in code
- the system used in a code or cipher
Origin of cryptographycrypto- + -graphy
- Computers Any of various mathematical techniques for encrypting and decrypting data in order to keep it private when transmitted or stored electronically.
- The process or skill of communicating in or deciphering secret writings or ciphers.
- Secret writing.
(usually uncountable, plural cryptographies)
- Subfields include encoding, decoding, cryptanalysis, codes, ciphers, etc.
- In many languages, though less so in English, cognates to "cryptology" are also used with the meaning given above, and even preferred.
- Related to cryptography but distinct, steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no-one apart from the sender and intended recipient even realizes there is a hidden message.
cryptography - Computer Definition
From the Greek kryptos, meaning hidden, and graphos, meaning written.The art or science, or system, of writing messages in code, or cipher, to disguise, and thereby secure, the content. When encrypted, a plain text message can be revealed only through the use of the key to the code. Cryptography does not mask the existence of the message, but does disguise its content. See also steganography.
The conversion of data into a secret code for transmission over a public network. Today, most cryptography is digital, and the original text ("plaintext") is turned into a coded equivalent called "ciphertext" via an encryption algorithm. The ciphertext is decrypted at the receiving end and turned back into plaintext. Keys Are the Key The encryption algorithm uses a "key," which is a binary number that is typically from 40 to 256 bits in length. The greater the number of bits in the key (cipher strength), the more possible key combinations and the longer it would take to break the code. The data are encrypted, or "locked," by combining the bits in the key mathematically with the data bits. At the receiving end, the key is used to "unlock" the code and restore the original data.