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Outline of cryptography

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Title: Outline of cryptography  
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Collection: Cryptography, Cryptography Lists and Comparisons, Outlines
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Outline of cryptography

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to cryptography:

Cryptography (or cryptology) – practice and study of hiding information. Modern cryptography intersects the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Applications of cryptography include ATM cards, computer passwords, and electronic commerce.


  • Essence of cryptography 1
  • Uses of cryptographic techniques 2
  • Branches of cryptography 3
  • History of cryptography 4
  • Ciphers 5
    • Classical 5.1
    • Modern 5.2
  • Keys 6
  • Cryptographic hash functions 7
  • Cryptanalysis 8
  • Robustness properties 9
  • Uncracked codes and ciphers 10
  • Organizations and selection projects 11
  • Influential cryptographers 12
    • Cryptography scholars 12.1
  • Legal issues 13
  • Academic and professional publications 14
  • Allied sciences 15
  • See also 16
  • References 17
  • External links 18

Essence of cryptography

Uses of cryptographic techniques

Branches of cryptography

History of cryptography




  • Monoalphabetic substitution –


  • Scytale
  • Grille
  • Permutation
  • VIC – complex hand cypher used by at least one Soviet spy in the early 1950s; it proved quite secure for the time


Symmetric-key algorithms

  • Stream ciphers
  • Block ciphers
  • CAST-256 (CAST6) – 128-bit block; the successor to CAST-128 and a candidate for the AES competition
  • Polyalphabetic substitution machine cyphers
  • Enigma – WWII German rotor cypher machine—many variants, any user networks for most of the variants
  • Purple – highest security WWII Japanese Foreign Office cypher machine; by Japanese Navy Captain
  • SIGABA – WWII US cypher machine by William Friedman, Frank Rowlett et al.
  • TypeX – WWII UK cypher machine
  • Hybrid code/cypher combinations
  • JN-25 – WWII Japanese Navy superencyphered code; many variants
  • Naval Cypher 3 – superencrypted code used by the Royal Navy in the 30s and into WWII

Asymmetric key algorithms

  • ACE-KEMNESSIE selection asymmetric encryption scheme; IBM Zurich Research)
  • ECIESElliptic Curve Integrated Encryption System, Certicom Corporation
  • ECDHElliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman key agreement, CRYPTREC recommendation




Weak keys

Cryptographic hash functions

  • MD5 – one of a series of message digest algorithms by Prof Ron Rivest of MIT; 128 bit digest
  • SHA-1 – developed at NSA 160-bit digest, an FIPS standard; the first released version was defective and replaced by this; NIST/NSA have released several variants with longer 'digest' lengths; CRYPTREC recommendation (limited)




  • Symmetric algorithms
  • Hash functions:
  • Network attacks
  • External attacks

Robustness properties

Uncracked codes and ciphers

Organizations and selection projects


  • Federal Information Processing Standards Publication Program – run by NIST to produce standards in many areas to guide operations of the US Federal government; many FIPS publications are ongoing and related to cryptography
  • ANSI – standardization process that produces many standards in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing)
  • ISO – standardization process produces many standards in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing
  • IEEE – standardization process produces many standards in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing
  • IETF – standardization process that produces many standards called RFCs) in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing)

General cryptographic

  • NSA – internal evaluation/selections, charged with assisting NIST in its cryptographic responsibilities
  • GCHQ – internal evaluation/selections, a division is charged with developing and recommending cryptographic standards for the UK government
  • DSD – Australian SIGINT agency, part of ECHELON
  • Communications Security Establishment (CSE) – Canadian intelligence agency

Open efforts

  • DESNBS selection process, ended 1976
  • RIPE – division of the RACE project sponsored by the European Union, ended mid-'80s
  • AES – a "break-off" competition sponsored by NIST, ended in 2001
  • NESSIE Project – an evaluation/selection program sponsored by the European Union, ended in 2002
  • eSTREAM– program funded by ECRYPT; motivated by the failure of all of the stream ciphers submitted to NESSIE, ended in 2008
  • CRYPTREC – evaluation/recommendation program sponsored by the Japanese government; draft recommendations published 2003
  • Internet Engineering Task Force – technical body responsible for Internet standards— the Request for Comment series is ongoing
  • CrypTool – an e-learning freeware programme in English and German— exhaustive educational tool about cryptography and cryptanalysis

Influential cryptographers

Cryptography scholars

Legal issues

Academic and professional publications

Further information: Important publications in cryptography & Books on cryptography

Allied sciences

See also


External links

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