Data Encryption

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Data Encryption

I. What is Data Encryption?

Data encryption describes the transformation of plain text into a different format that is meaningless read by human eye without being decrypted, so called cipher text, in order to prevent any unauthorized party to obtain information from the document.

According to the Webster dictionary, “cryptography is the practice and study of data encryption and decryption - encoding data so that it can only be decoded by specific individuals.” Crypto is derived from the Greek word kruptos, to hide, from kruptein, which means hidden and secret. In the old days, people attempted to withhold certain information as their private possession, and to hide the information from exposures to the public. There were many different methods they used in order to conceal this information, such as substituting part of the information by symbols, numbers or pictures for different reasons to protect their secrets. With the advancement of human intellects and modern computing powers, cryptosystems are invented as systems used to encrypt and decrypt data electronically. By deploying sophisticated mathematical algorithm into the process, it combines the original data with one or more a serial of numbers or strings of characters, as known as “keys” privately and solely owned by sender and/or recipient. Cipher text is generated as an end result of this process. The computer aided data encryption is much more accurate, efficient and reliable compared to the ancient methods.

Encryption has a very long history,1 which can be traced back to about 1900 B.C. Cryptography was first used in the form of hieroglyphic inscription by an ...

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...partment of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, <http://csrc.nist.gov/CryptoToolkit/aes/frn-fips197.pdf>, Docket Number 000929280-1201-02

2. Federal Information, Processing Standards Publication 197, Announcing the Advanced Encryption Standards, (November 26, 2001)

3. Jim Reavis, Network World Fusion,

<http://www.nwfusion.com/research/2001/0730feat2.html>, (July 30, 2001)

4. Joan Daemen,Vicent, Rijmen, The RijnDael Block Cipher, AES Proposal, (2000)

5. Lou Breit, Security Demands Lead to Strong Measures, Enterprise Networking Magazine, (December, 2002)

6. SANS Institute, History of Encrytion, Information Security Reading Room, 2001

7. Think Quest Team, Data Encryption, History, Legal and Ethics, (Copyright@1999)

8. Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, Prentice Hall PTR, page 479-512, Third Edition, (1996)

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