How does encryption work for dummies?

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Encryption is a phrase you’ve undoubtedly seen used on the internet. So, what exactly are we dealing with here? Possibly the most significant technology we have. When it comes to digital security, this is the most important factor. Private life is impossible without encryption.

What Is Encryption?

If you write down anything significant, private, or sensitive, you could be concerned that someone else will read it. You run the danger of the incorrect people seeing your message if you have to hand it over to a messenger. Only those who know how to decode the message or data back to its original form may read it once it has been encrypted. It’ll just seem like a random jumble of symbols and letters to anybody else.

How does encryption work for dummies?

The Scytale:

Since the dawn of time, humans have used various methods to ensure that only the intended receiver is privy to secret communications. The ancient Greeks used a wooden rod called a scytale to wrap a piece of paper in a tight spiral. Over the parchment-wrapped pole, they scrawled their message.

The lettering on the paper was completely illegible when it was unwound from its coil. It would be delivered to the addressee by a messenger, who would first wrap the paper around their own, matching scytale before reading the message. A transposition cypher, this is.

Even though it’s a crude method, newer encryption methods use components of it. The encryption system and how to apply it must be known in advance by both the sender and the receiver. To accomplish so, they both need matching mechanisms.

The Polybius Square:

The ancient Greeks also used Polybius squares. The letters were arranged in a grid of five or six by six. Like in the video game Battleships, the coordinates of a letter were used as a point of reference. As an example, the first row’s letter “11” would be written as “42,” as would the fourth row’s letter “42,” and so on.

Many techniques to fill the grid with letters are available. Decryption is tough if you don’t know how the letters are arranged. This allows you to create a variety of layouts for several squares. For example, you might make seven squares and utilize a different square for each day of the week. Polyalphabetic cyphers are schemes that use numerous alphabets.

As a kind of coding, Polybius squares are used. In this case, numbers are used to replace letters in a code. In cyphers, the letters are swapped out for others.

Related: Read more.

Caesar’s Cipher:

Caesar’s Cipher takes its name from Julius Caesar. This method selects a letter a distance away from the letter you’re encoding using an offset. “A” would be written as “C,” and “D” would be written as “F” if you were using an offset of two. The receiver must subtract the offset from the letters they have already received to decrypt the message.

“Rotation 13,” or ROT13, is a specific kind of Caesar’s Cipher with an offset of 13. When you divide 13 by 26, you get 26, twice as many letters as the normal English alphabet. To decrypt anything, you may repeat the enciphering procedure using this offset. It is possible to return to the original text after deciphering twice.

As a matter of fact, what exactly is Encryption?

A common thread connects all of the instances we’ve discussed here, including encryption, even though they are all quite straightforward to decipher. You must adhere to the criteria to encrypt your original data, referred to as the ‘plaintext,’ into the ciphertext. An algorithm is a collection of rules. To sum it up: Encryption does this.

You might call it algorithmic privacy.

What Is the Process of Encryption?

A person in the digital era who desires to keep or convey private data has the same difficulties as the person in ancient Greece. What can you do to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing the data? What steps may be taken to ensure its safety?

Encryption knowledge is needed to defeat all of the previous methods. The scythe message may be read if you use the same diameter rod. Caesar’s Cipher may be cracked if the message’s initial section is offset differently. At the maximum, you have 25 chances.

How does encryption work for dummies?

Letter frequency tables may help you determine which ciphertext letter corresponds to which plaintext letter using a basic cypher. The ciphertext of a safe encryption system must be able to survive cryptanalysis attempts regardless of who knows about the scheme’s mechanics.

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Not Characters, Bits

Unlike serial ciphers, robust digital schemes don’t operate on letters and characters sequentially. They’re known as block cyphers since they go through the data one piece at a time.


They use intricate mathematical transformation rules included in the encryption algorithms to modify the bits—all those and zeros—inside each block. Using a block size of 128 bits, an algorithm will process the data in 128-bit chunks. The last chunk to be processed has 128 bits padded if it is less than that.

Block cyphers come in a variety of flavors. United States government agencies use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) as their approved encryption standard. Encryption techniques use a variety of algorithms and block sizes and a variety of mathematical transformations.

Hash Strings:

First, let’s take a look at an extreme example. With a one-way transform, data may be encrypted. This is the opposite of ROT13 since the ciphertext cannot be deciphered back to its original form. It cannot be deciphered in a reasonable amount of time. Using this sort of encryption, a plaintext string is hashed into a ciphertext string, known as the hash or hash string, utilized in hashing functions. In other words, the length of each hash string is the same.

How is this useful? 

Your password will never be stored in plaintext on a safe website. The hash string of your password is saved once it has been hashed. Passwords are never stored on our servers. As soon as you log in again, the hashed version of your password is checked against the hash string saved in your account data. You may enter if they are the same. As a result, you will not be able to get into the system if you input an invalid password.

This allows the website to employ authentication without the need to keep credentials in an exposed form. If they are hacked, none of the credentials are leaked out. Passwords may also be hashed using a salt, a unique, random piece of data. This implies that even if two or more people choose the same password, all hashes are unique.

You can read the article on why the file is important for any organization. Read more.

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