Ease Me Into Cryptography Part 3: Asymmetric Ciphers

Welcome to Part 3! A quick recap of where we’ve been. In Part 1: Buzzwords and Hash Function we talked about some foundational cryptography vocab and were introduced to hash functions, how they’re used, and some drawbacks. In Part 2: Symmetric Ciphers we upped the complexity a bit and discussed symmetric ciphers, including important properties of keys and different modes that help us avoid leakage. Making great progress! In this section, we are going to ease more into crypto with asymmetric ciphers. Ready?

As always, we are going to break this down into bite-sized chunks. But this one is a little more complex, so our sections will be a little different.

Let’s define a few key terms that may come in handy:

• Symmetric Ciphers (as discussed in Part 2) are a family of ciphers that uses the same key to encrypt as it does to decrypt. These are sometimes referred to as secret key algorithms, because, if the key is the same on both sides, it needs to be kept secret so that not just anyone can decrypt it.
• Asymmetric Ciphers are a family of ciphers that uses a different key to encrypt than it does to decrypt. These are sometimes referred to as public key algorithms, because, when the encrypting and decrypting keys are different, that allows for one to be public without compromising the correctness or privacy of the decrypted message.
• A Key Pair refers to the mathematically related encryption and decryption keys, the public and private keys, in asymmetric cryptography.

We will revisit these terms as we go, so don’t worry about memorizing! They will begin to feel familiar.

What are asymmetric ciphers?

Thinking back to Part 2, we can recall that a symmetric cipher is an algorithm that allows us to encrypt and decrypt (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The Ethical Hacker Network authored by Ellie Daw. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/eh-net/~3/pZXYBulZtXM/