• CipherOct 07, 2022
  • CipherCipher

What Is A Cipher?

A cipher is a method to transform a message secretly so its meaning is concealed. It is also referred to as a ciphertext or ciphergram. This article will provide a brief overview of cryptology and the role of ciphers.

Substitution ciphers

Substitution ciphers are based on a system of substitution and transposition. This encryption method allows users to send encrypted messages without revealing their identity. The process is complicated, but it is possible. A computer has a high enough processing power to apply 16 cycles of transposition and substitution to each group of eight letters.

Substitution ciphers work by replacing each letter of the plaintext with a different character. Children use these ciphers to experiment with secret codes. The problem with this method is that it is easy to break. This method uses the alphabet to encrypt messages, and it is easy to reverse the substitution process.

Another form of substitution ciphers is the Caesar ciphers. This method uses tables and complicated rules to encode characters. For example, a letter can be encoded using a function that subtracts a number from another number and then adds that number to the original letter. The function then determines the result modulo the key.

Block ciphers

This book provides a detailed technical overview of block ciphers and their applications. It explains the fundamentals of block ciphers, describes some of the most popular block ciphers and examines the role of the cryptanalyst and adversary. A thorough bibliography is provided. The chapters also contain comprehensive supporting notes.

Block ciphers are used to encrypt data and communications. Traditionally, these symmetric algorithms operate over the binary alphabet, with the input and output being binary strings. The resulting encrypted message is protected by a key that is unique to the sender and only to the sender. These ciphers work by mapping plaintext blocks to blocks of ciphertext. However, they require the keys to be a fixed size, and decryption occurs by applying the inverse map to the ciphertext. Nowadays, most block ciphers work over a set number of rounds, each involving a sequence of operations on modified plaintext.

In addition to block size, other factors that affect the security of block ciphers include their complexity. Some ciphers are more difficult to decrypt than others, and attackers may be able to solve them in a short period of time.

Public key ciphers

Public key ciphers simplify key management by reducing the number of public and private keys needed for secure communication. Generally, a group of n people requires n public and n private keys. Public key ciphers reduce the number of public and private keys required by a factor of two.

The concept of public key ciphers was first published in 1976 by Diffie and Hellman. However, the British Communications-Electronics Security Group (BCESG) was already working on it by the 1970s. The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) claims it discovered public key ciphers in the mid-1960s.

Public key ciphers are based on the concept of a one-way trapdoor function. One-way functions are difficult to compute but not impossible to compute. The trapdoor allows a third party to decipher a message only if they know the public key.

Stream ciphers

Stream ciphers are a type of cryptography that uses an algorithm that encrypts data one bit at a time rather than encrypting whole blocks of data. They produce a pseudorandom stream of bits based on an encryption key and seed, a unique, randomly generated number. These pseudorandom bits are then XORed with the plaintext input to create the ciphertext.

Stream ciphers are most commonly used in contexts that use low bit error rates. These algorithms are vulnerable to active attacks, as an attacker can change a single digit in a ciphertext message. To overcome this vulnerability, stream ciphers often incorporate a hidden secret filter to ensure the message's integrity.

In addition to the use of a keystream, stream ciphers also use the XOR operator to create new binary values. The XOR operator compares the bits in the keystream and plaintext and produces a new binary value. If the two digits are identical, the result is a zero; otherwise, a one is produced.

Divyanshu Sharma

Founder and CEO, Techinaut

“ Ciphers are mathematical algorithms that change the meaning of a message. They can be used in cryptograms, ciphertext, and digital signatures. They have been around for a long time. Even the first cipher, known as Caesar's shift cipher, used math.“