**Cryptography (or cryptology)** is the practice and study of hiding secret information by *encryption*. **Encryption** is the conversion of data into a form, called a ciphertext. **Decryption** is the reverse, in other words, moving from the unintelligible ciphertext back to plaintext. Modern cryptography intersects the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, and electrical/electronics engineering. Applications of cryptography include credit cards, laptop data security, computer passwords, computer network security solutions & software systems, and online/internet data security in electronic commerce.

Cryptographic techniques are needed for privacy and authentication of digital data. There are two types of encryption algorithms used in cryptography, namely **Symmetric-Key Encryption** (also known as symmetric-key encryption, single-key encryption, one-key encryption and private key encryption) and **Asymmetric Encryption** (Public Key Encryption).

Cryptanalysis is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information without access to the key normally required to do so; i.e., it is the study of how to crack *encryption algorithms* or their implementations.

## Applications of Cryptography (Encryption & Decryption Algorithms)

- Secure messaging/mail
- Secure network communications
- Network authentication
- Electronic voting
- Electronic notary
- Digital money (digital wallet) or Electronic Cashcards (credit cards, ATM/debit cards)
- Data distribution
- Credentialing Systems
- Electronic Signatures
- Systems Using Changing Keys
- Covert communication using Steganogrphy
- Security mechanisms for secure ID cards, smartcards, biometrics

## Advantages of Cryptography (Encryption & Decryption Algorithms)

- Message privacy
- Sender and recipient authentication
- Non-repudiation
- Anonymity
- Fairness
- Accountability
- Untraceability
- Dividability
- Transferability
- Off-line operations
- Universality
- Data distribution operation (TV, CD-ROM)
- Selective reception
- Secrecy in Transmission
- Secrecy in Storage
- Integrity in Storage
- Authentication of Identity

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