Information Technology Focus: Cryptography Resources

Does high-security provide necessary protections that you are naive to believe that you don’t really need? In today’s Internet world where millions of people are using tools for commercial purposes, security becomes an extremely important issue to deal with. There are various aspects to security and various applications ranging from secure commerce to private communications and password protection. One of the vital aspects of commercial communications is that of cryptography.

Cryptography is the science of conversion of data into a code that can be decoded and sent over public as well as private networks. The first known use of cryptography was found in 1900 B.C in non-standard Egyptian hieroglyphs. According to experts, cryptography appeared only after the invention of inscription. However, the new form of cryptography came just after the extensive development of computer communications. In case of data and telecommunications, cryptography is compulsory when communicating over any unreliable medium such as the Internet. Cryptography not only protects data from theft or alteration, but also used for user authentication.

Cryptography uses two forms of encrypting data: symmetrical and asymmetrical. In case of the former one, same key is used for encryption as they do for decryption. There are other names for symmetrical encryption such as secret key, shared key and private key. However, in case of asymmetric encryption, different encryption keys are used for encryption and decryption. That’s the reason why, it is considered as a secured method against computationally limited intruders.

History of Cryptography: A list of links on what cryptography is, a brief history of cryptography and the changing face of the technology with time.

About Cryptography: A comprehensive list of links on different aspects of cryptography – including projects (software and hardware).

Cryptography Notes: Read a complete note on cryptography.

Trusted Computing: This link discusses the technical aspects of trusted computing, cryptography and competition policy.

Application of Cryptography in Credit Cards:

Many people are defensive about their credit card numbers, and definitely for good reasons. A stolen credit card having other private information can give a thief everything that he or she needs, and can create serious mayhem in one’s life. One way to keep the credit card information safe while sending it over the Internet is through encryption. It is a procedure through which a key is applied to the plain text that transforms the plain text into cipher text. This process ensures protection against an unauthorized access of the credit card. This type of cryptography is often used to protect clients while shopping online. Every time a client clicks on the purchase button on the Internet, a session key is generated. The credit card number is encrypted and decrypted using the same unique session key. Since session key is very important, it is wrapped under the public key. However, if an unauthorized program gets access to the session key, he or she would need to recover the session key and the recipient’s private key in order to decrypt the credit card number. Since private key is given only to specific and trusted clients, not just any unauthorized program can get access to the same, hence, a client’s credit card is protected.

Public-key cryptography: This page explains about public-key cryptography and its applications.

Credit card encryption: A page offering detailed information on credit card encryption.

Online credit card security: This link offers a comprehensive guide to online credit card security.

Encryption: This site provides brief information on encryption.

Cryptography Terminology:

There are some basic terminologies that are often used in cryptography such as encryption, cipher, clipper, key, RSA, symmetric algorithm, etc.

Encryption software terms: This site lists out some of the common terminologies used in encryption software.

Encryption programs: A list of links to download encryption programs.

Encryption software security: This site discusses the use of encryption software, including how encryption software keep the information secure.

Securing web services: This link provides information on securing web services in terms of cryptography.

Cryptography: This site provides information about cryptography in detail.

Modern cryptography: This site provides valuable information on modern cryptography.

Position-based cryptography: This site provides comprehensive information on position-based cryptography.

Cryptography & authentication: A site that defines important terms such as cryptography, encryption, and authentication.

Cryptography & algorithm: This site discusses the fundamentals of cryptography, algorithms and security services.

Symmetric cryptography: This site provides complete information on symmetric cryptography including the algorithms associated with it.

Asymmetric key cryptography: This site discusses the asymmetric key cryptography in detail.

Cryptography definitions: Another site that defines cryptography and other related terms.

Literature on Cryptography:

There are several books available on the subject – read them and make yourself more aware of the Internet thefts in the best possible manner.

Implications for cryptography: The link provides information on the possible implications for cryptography in the age of quantum computers.

New directions in cryptography: The site informs about new directions in cryptography, which are needed in future.

Benefits/drawbacks of cryptography: The link discusses the future of cryptography including benefits, limitations and drawbacks.

Cryptography overview: The site provides comprehensive information on cryptography.