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In this manner, if the transmitted information is intercepted by a cyber-thief, the information will remain useless to him since it is in an encrypted form that is incomprehensible to him.
Banks is another common user of cryptography and whose input and output information are critical and must remain confidential. These days, a large percentage of banking transactions can be done online. Hence it is very critical that the information of bank customers is highly secured. If one is to access a banking online site, it is noticeable that a warning is provided to the user informing him that the site he is about to access is secured. Moreover, such secured sites are marked by a lock icon shown at the bottom part of the user's browser. Within a user's session in a secured site, it is typical that cryptography works at the background of every information exchange that occurs between the user and the site's system. This happens to ensure that all information sent and received by the user is authenticated and secured.
There are more areas particularly in the World Wide Web where cryptography is being used. All of which aims to ensure that data transmitted between the sender and receiver remain secured and authentic.
Within the history of cryptography, the methods at which data is encrypted have transformed from the simplest form into complex ones. Such development occurs in an aim to ensure that stronger security is enforced on information exchange. It cannot be considered though that cryptography, via encryption and decryption of data, is a 100% guaranteed data security measure. This is because several reports show that cryptography still has a small amount of vulnerability. it, however, reduces at a high percentage the possibility that information can be attacked by malicious activities. One proof to the vulnerability of cryptographic encryption method and something to consider when implementing cryptography was recently reported by the Computer Security Resource Center. The report states the following.
An attack has been found on some implementations of RSA digital signatures using the padding scheme of PCKS-1 when the public key e = 3. A similar attack could also be applied to implementations of digital signatures as specified in American National Standard (ANS) X9.31. Note that this attack is not on the RSA algorithm itself, but on improper implementations of the signature verification process."
Although the report indicates that the attack can be caused by improper implementation, the conclusion in the end is that there is still a possibility that information is not totally secured.
Another online source indicates the following cryptography vulnerability that is important to consider, particularly when using WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) cryptography.
WEP cryptography is not very secure at all. A paper from cryptography analysts called the encryption algorithm "kindergarten cryptography." Actually, software exists that exploits a huge security hole in the encryption standard. This software listens to the encrypted network traffic, analyzes it, and after only a few hours it reveals the password to enter the network in clear text. The more traffic on the network, the easier it is to find out the password because some packets are particularly weak because they carry a bad so-called initialisation vector (IV). Recent access points try to avoid these bad IVs, so it is getting harder to exploit the hole."
Other important considerations when implementing cryptography are the following.
Securing physical access to an area
Confidentiality of encryption methods used
Continuous research and study that can ensure the strength of cryptography method being used.
Hebert, S. (2001). A Brief History of Cryptography.
Retrieved on October 14, 2006, from Online.
Web site: http://www.cybercrimes.net/Cryptography/Articles/Hebert.html
Retrieved on October 14, 2006, from Wikipedia Online.
Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptography
Retrieved on October 14, 2006, from Webopedia Online.
Web site: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/public_key_cryptography.html
Retrieved on October 14, 2006, from Webopedia Online.
Web site: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/symmetric_key_cryptography.html
An Attack on RSA Digital Signature.
Retrieved on October 14, 2006, from National Institute of Standards and Technology Online. Web site: http://csrc.nist.gov/news-highlights/RSA-statement_10-12-06.pdf
Security Considerations on WEP Cryptography.
Retrieved on October 14, 2006, from Online. Web site: http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdenetwork/kwifimanager/wep.html[continue]
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