An Introduction: Using CrypTool to Show How Ciphers Work

In Learning Tree’s System and Network Security Introduction, we use a tool called CrypTool. It is a fun tool for illustrating the operation of ciphers, hashes, digital signatures and the like. This week, I’ll start with a demonstration of some basic encrypting and decrypting and in the future, I’ll discuss other features. In the examples […]
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Keeping Secrets: Setting a Cipher Mode

Earlier this week we considered ways to split the many choices of ciphers (or encryption algorithms): symmetric versus asymmetric, and block versus stream. The block symmetric ciphers do the heavy lifting, they are used for large data sets. But one block symmetric cipher can be operated in various modes, and the selection of mode depends […]
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Keeping Secrets: Select a Cipher

So you want to encrypt your sensitive information to protect its confidentiality. Good! But exactly how should this be done? There are many ciphers (or encryption algorithms) to choose from. Let’s see what choices are available. Splitting the Choices Selecting a cipher is like sharing bread with your friend. Wait. What? Let’s say you want […]
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New Year’s Resolution: Back Up Your Data

Two years ago I wrote about backing up your personal data using cloud services, and specifically using Amazon’s Glacier service. I’m writing this post a couple of weeks after New Year’s Day, a time of year to think about getting into better habits. Let’s take another look at this. Some simple commands that you learn […]
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What Is Post-Quantum Cryptography And What Does It Mean For Us?

A recent NSA update addressed the Suite B cryptographic algorithms approved by NSA for protecting U.S. Government data. If you skip ahead to its table of recommendations you will see that some old friends have disappeared — AES with a 128-bit key and SHA-256 have been quietly dropped. The more startling part is in the […]
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