Encryptography





The science of encryption of information is called encryptography. It is a data security measure to protect confidential data from unauthorized access. The science of cryptography is at least 4,000 years old. This technology is developed with civilization in Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, and other areas of the world. The evidence of encryptography was obtained from main chamber of an Egyptian tomb where some codes are curved about 1900 BC ago.

In its earliest form, people have been attempting to conceal certain information that they wanted to keep to their own possession by substituting parts of the information with symbols, numbers and pictures.Ancient Babylonian merchants used intaglio, a piece of flat stone carved into a collage of images and some writing to identify themselves in trading transactions.

Using this mechanism, they are producing what today we know as ‘digital signature. The public knew that a particular signature belonged to this trader, but only he had the intaglio to produce that signature.

Julius Caesar, who used a simple cipher system more than 2,000 years ago to conceal military information. There are many historical evidences present, which explain its importance in military system. The spy system is totally based on encryption technology. In ancient time, when very confidential information of military system can be leaked out, the enemies can destroy kingdom easily. So, in military system, information is always sending in the encrypted form. Now a day, this technique is a backbone of military information system. Cryptology is the science underlying cryptography. The science of breaking or cracking of encryption scheme is termed as cryptanalysis.

 

1. The history of modern Encryptography

 

The history of modern encryptography was begun with concept of database management system for business organization.

Some important steps of evolution are mentioned below:

Years Comments
1970 The new concept of DES (Data Encryption Standard) began in 1970 with the work of Feistel at IBM in the USA.
1976 In 1976, Whitfield Differ and Martin Hellman, these two authors have published book “New Direction in Cryptography”. This paper introduced the revolutionary concept of public-key cryptography and provided a new ingenious method for key exchange.
1985 The powerful and practical public-key scheme was found by EIGamal in 1985 in USA.
1991

Digital signature is the most important contribution provided by public-key cryptography. In 1991, the first international standard for digital signatures (ISO/IEC 9796) was adopted. It is based on the RAS public-key scheme.

1994 The US Government adopted Digital Signature Standard based on ELGamal public-key scheme in 1994.
2000 The passage of the Information Technology Act on October 17, 2000 has legalized digital signatures in India.

 

2. Encryptography

 

A major goal of security techniques is confidentiality- ensuring that adversaries gain no intelligence from a transmitted message.

There are two major techniques for achieving confidentiality:

  • Steganography: The art of hiding a secret message within a larger one in such a way that the adversary cannot discern the presence or contents of the hidden message. For example, a message might be hidden within a picture by changing the low-order pixel bits to be the message bits.
  • Encryption: Transforming the message to a cipher text such that an adversary who overhears the cipher text cannot determine the message sent. The legitimate receiver possesses a secret decryption key that allows him to reverse the encryption transformation and retrieve the message.

There are some technical terms related with encryption. These are:

  • Plain text: The information send by sender is called plain text. It is a text of intelligible format.
  • Cipher text: The plain text is converted into an unintelligible format which cannot be accessed by unauthorized users. It is a text after encryption.
  • Decryption: The conversion of cipher text into intelligible format is called decryption.

There are two kinds of cryptosystems: symmetric and asymmetric.

(a) Symmetric :Symmetric cryptosystems use the same key (the secret key) to encrypt and decrypt a message.

(b) Asymmetric: Asymmetric cryptosystems use one key (the public key) to encrypt a message and different key (the private key) to decrypt it. Asymmetric cryptosystems are also called public key cryptosystems.

Encryptography is gradually developed after World War I, and now it is in the very advance and sophisticated form. There are many techniques and tricks developed to encrypt plain text and decrypt it again. The development of computer science is proved boon in the field of cryptology. The very complex codes can be disclosed after some key-strokes. When AI (Artificial Intelligence) is fully exploited in computer science, any cipher text can be converted into plain text within a second.

 

3. Encryption in e-commerce

 

 

The e-commerce is a business technique without leaving chair through Internet. It is more advance business concept and now, it is most popular way of business interactions. The security of confidential data is also main issue with this business.

Functions of encryption in e-commerce:

The Data encryption plays important roles to enable secure online transaction.

Some of the functions of encryptions are listed below:

  • Digital authentication: Allows both the customers and the merchant to be sure that they are dealing with whom the other party claims to be. This is absolutely necessary before sending credit card details to the merchant and also allows merchants to verify that the customer is the real owner of the credit card being used.
  • Integrity: Ensures that the messages received are not changed during transmission by any third party.
  • Non-repudiation prevents customers or merchants denying they ever received or sent a particular message or order.
  • In the event that information is intercepted, encryption ensures privacy that prevents third parties from reading or using the information to their own advantage.
What kind of encryption does e-commerce use?

There are two methods of encryption employed:

  • Private-key encryption (secret-key or symmetric encryption) in which users share a common key.
  • Public-key encryption (also known as asymmetric encryption) where different keys are used for encryption and decryption.

 

4. Firewall

 

The term firewall has mythological meaning. The firewall is a barrier that prevents fires from spreading. The firewall is a gatekeeper hardware or software that guards against unauthorized access to our computer via the internet by viruses or hackers. It is a safety and security measure of computer to protect computer system from unauthorized access.

Firewalls are just a modern adaptation of that old medieval security standby; digging a deep moat around your castle. This design forced everyone entering or leaving the castle to pass over a single drawbridge, where they could be inspected by the I/O police

Computer Network (Third Edition), p410, Andrew S. Tanenbaum

 

Stealing secrets from computer is more profitable than robbing bank. So, computer security is first step before using computer as a data store. The firewall is a combination of hardware and software to check illegibility of coming and going data through Internets. So, it is a company’s gatekeeper to check data coming and going from company’s network. It works by inspecting and filtering packet traffic between two networks.

Hardware requirement:

  • Processor: Pantium-1 or more
  • RAM: Adequate RAM to meet performance requirements
  • Hard disk: Adequate hard disk space to accommodate the Operating system and firewall software
  • Network Interface Card
  • Testing devices: Network traffic generators and monitors

 

5. IPS

 

It stands for lnstrvision Prevention System Technology used to provide as safety and security platform for computer, internet and other telecommunication devices. It provides security to firewall, IPSec, VPN and help in bandwidth management and web content filtering. It is used to inspect dynamic routing. The devices based on IPS technology provide security against worms, viruses, Trojans Denial of service attacks, spyware, phising, VOIP threats, and other security problems.

Tipping Point X505 is an integrated unique multifunction security platform based on IPS technology.



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