An encryption algorithm used to encrypt or “padlock” a message. In cryptosystems, padding also refers to random characters, blanks, zeros, and nulls added to the beginning and ending of messages to conceal their actual length or to satisfy the data block size requirements of some ciphers. Padding also serves to obscure the location at which cryptographic coding actually begins.
Schell, B.H., Dodge, J.L., with S.S. Moutsatsos. The Hacking of America: Who’s Doing It, Why, and How. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2002.