Is A Career In Cryptography Right For You?
Is a career in cryptography right for you? Cryptography is the practice of recording, storing and transmitting information in a designated format so as to shield its contents from unauthorized reading and understanding. The word comes from the Greek words kryptos (meaning hidden or secret) and graphein (writing). The practice of cryptography has been around for a long time. Its earliest known use dates from 1,900 BCE in Egypt. Since that time it has been practiced by many including Julius Caesar, who used it to communicate with his generals. Perhaps the most famous example of cryptography is the Enigma device used by Nazi Germany during World War II. In its simplest form, cryptography includes complex encryption methods by using a binary sequence called a secret key. Its purpose is to transform ordinary text (called plain text or clear text) into an unreadable format (called cipher text) this process is called encryption. The opposite process (known as decryption) permits those who possess the secret key to decipher the cipher text into clear text. In general, cryptography is used to ensure four security principles: Confidentiality: So no one can have the access to the message except the authorized receiver. Authentication: Proving the identity of the sender and the receiver and their information. Integrity: Ensuring transmitted data has not been altered by non-authorized access. Non-repudiation: A mechanism to prove that the sender cannot deny the shipment of messages. As we mentioned, cryptography is mainly divided into two types of processes (encryption and decryption). Along this line, there are three families of cryptographic algorithms that are categorized based on the number of keys employed for encryption and decryption. Secret Key Cryptography (also called sym Continue reading >>
Introduction To Cryptography
When Julius Caesar sent messages to his generals, he didn't trust his messengers. So he replaced every A in his messages with a D, every B with an E, and so on through the alphabet. Only someone who knew the "shift by 3" rule could decipher his messages. Data that can be read and understood without any special measures is called plaintext or cleartext. The method of disguising plaintext in such a way as to hide its substance is called encryption. Encrypting plaintext results in unreadable gibberish called ciphertext. You use encryption to ensure that information is hidden from anyone for whom it is not intended, even those who can see the encrypted data. The process of reverting ciphertext to its original plaintext is called decryption. Figure 1-1 illustrates this process. Cryptography is the science of using mathematics to encrypt and decrypt data. Cryptography enables you to store sensitive information or transmit it across insecure networks (like the Internet) so that it cannot be read by anyone except the intended recipient. While cryptography is the science of securing data, cryptanalysis is the science of analyzing and breaking secure communication. Classical cryptanalysis involves an interesting combination of analytical reasoning, application of mathematical tools, pattern finding, patience, determination, and luck. Cryptanalysts are also called attackers. Cryptology embraces both cryptography and cryptanalysis. There are two kinds of cryptography in this world: cryptography that will stop your kid sister from reading your files, and cryptography that will stop major governments from reading your files. This book is about the latter. --Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C. OpenPGP is also about the latter sort of cry Continue reading >>
What Does A Cryptographer Do?
These 10 facts about space will blow your mind A cryptographer is one who practices or studies cryptography , a field primarily involved with keeping secret information secret. Modern cryptography is mostly concerned with encrypting digital information, such as e-mail, to protect it as it's sent from one digital source to another. Data security is extremely important to nearly all people, not just for those with very sensitive information. Every transaction or interaction that one makes on the Internet could be detected and read by other individuals if proper security measures were not in place. The cryptographer ensures that only people with the right authorization can view certain data. A cryptographer has several goals when working to encrypt data. One goal is authentication, the process of proving the identity of one attempting to access a given piece of information. Privacy is another goal; it involves ensuring that a given piece information only reaches its intended viewer. The cryptographer must also ensure that a secure message is not altered in any way between the sender and the receiver. He must be able to determine with certainty the identity of the sender so that one cannot send a message and claim it came from someone else. One wishing to become a cryptographer generally studies computer science in college. If one wishes to keep data in computer systems encrypted , it is essential to know and understand the workings of such computer systems. Upon finishing college, a graduate degree in mathematics or in computer science is also very beneficial to a career in cryptography. Mathematics are very important to the study and practice of cryptography, so it is important to have a firm grasp of the subject. Upon receiving a degree, a cryptographer can seek work in Continue reading >>
What Cryptography Cant Do
Cryptography is an incredibly powerful technology for protecting information, but it is only one of many technologies that play a role in web security and commerce. Unfortunately, cryptography plays such an important role that many people assume that any computer system is automatically secure, and that any system that does not use encryption cant be made secure. As a matter of fact, the phrase secure web server is often used interchangeably with the phrase cryptographically enabled web server. Encryption isnt all-powerful. You can use the best cryptography thats theoretically possible, but if other mistakes are made in either systems design or data handling, confidential information may still be revealed. For example, a document might be encrypted so that it could only be decoded by one person, but if that person prints out a document and then throws it out without first shredding the paper, the secrets that the document contains could still end up on the front page of the local newspaper. Likewise, cryptography isnt an appropriate solution for many problems, including the following: Cryptography cant protect your unencrypted documents Even if you set up your web server so that it only sends files to people using 1024-bit SSL, remember that the unencrypted originals still reside on your web server. Unless you separately encrypt them, those files are vulnerable. Somebody breaking into the computer on which your server is located will have access to the data. Cryptography cant protect against stolen encryption keys The whole point of using encryption is to make it possible for people who have your encryption keys to decrypt your files or messages. Thus, any attacker who can steal or purchase your keys can decrypt your files and messages. Thats important to remember when Continue reading >>
Career Profile: Cryptologist
Also known as: Cryptanalyst, Cryptographer, Cryptologic Technician, Cryptologic Linguist, Symbolist, Decipherer, Information Security Expert, Intelligence Agent or Officer, Information Security Engineer A Cryptologist is someone who is skilled at deciphering codes, puzzles or cryptograms, and at creating them in order to protect private information. Cryptologists not only decipher codes or cryptograms, but they also invent them. Cryptologists create secret codes used for communicating military secrets, protecting government, medical and other private information, disguising spy communications, and for encrypting our own personal information to protect it from prying eyes on the Internet. Old spy movies spring to mind when one hears the term cryptologist. One can imagine Cold War spies deciphering and delivering secret messages across enemy lines. But all of this makes Cryptologists seem like relics. The truth is, Cryptologists are alive and well and very much a part of our modern technology-driven world. In fact, Cryptologists Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijimen created what is now known as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption standard used by the U.S. government to protect classified information, and by ecommerce companies to protect your credit card information. Cryptology is still widely used by the government and the military. In fact, the military is the largest employer of cryptologists. The government and military employ Cryptologists to help decode and decipher messages relayed in foreign languages and symbols, to find patterns in intelligence data, and to develop secret codes to be used by military personnel to communicate military strategies. Cryptologists are in the thick of the identity theft efforts of banks, credit card and ecommerce compani Continue reading >>
Cryptanalysis - Recommended Skills For A Job In Cryptology - Cryptography Stack Exchange
It seems we have aligned interests. I'm also a university student (although I am a math/comp sci double major) looking to pursue a career in cryptography. To that end, I have been self-studying it for a while now. So, take what I say with a grain of salt. As a forewarning, this post focuses specifically on what topics cryptographers often encounter and less about what, as a person, makes you useful as an employee to a crypto-agency. From what I can best tell, the requisite knowledge of computer science is entirely dependent on what you want to do with cryptography exactly. If you are looking to work in an applied area, then you had best had a strong grasp of the basics of computer science. If you are implementing algorithms, then you will likely need to know the basics of modern-day computer architecture. The reasons for this are many-fold. First, an understanding of computer architecture will allow you to optimize code like no other. For instance, a knowledge of things like instruction-level parallelism and pipelining is incredibly important because taking proper advantage of both can seriously speed code up. Second, you may need to know some basics about architecture in order to ensure security of your scheme. For instance, if you are working with smart cards, you will need to be able to design, or at least verify the security of, tamper-resistant circuitry. Further, you will need a strong knowledge of C, which sits so close to the hardware that it isn't too far a step away anyways. From what I can tell, the vast majority of "serious" crypto code is written in C, even if it has a language wrapper around it (e.g. PyCrypto). Other languages, especially interpreted ones, simply do not allow the same performance as C, and we do like performant implementations. Another se Continue reading >>
What Is Cryptography? - Definition From Whatis.com
How Does Cryptography Work?
This page attempts to give a very basic conceptual introduction to cryptographic methods. Before we start the usual disclaimer: I am not a cryptographer. This document is only for educational purposes. Crypto is hard, you should never trust your home-grown implementation. Unless youre a cryptographer you will probably overlook some crucial details. Developers should only use the high-level functions that have been implemented by an actual cryptographer. Now that we got this is out of the way, lets start hacking :) The bitwise XOR operator outputs true only when both inputs differ (one is true, the other is false). It is sometimes called an invertor because the output of a bit in x gets inverted if and only if the corresponding bit in y is true: # XOR two (8bit) bytes 'x' and 'y'x <- as.raw(0x7a)y <- as.raw(0xe4)z <- base::xor(x, y)dput(z) # Show the bits in each bytecbind(x = rawToBits(x), y = rawToBits(y), z = rawToBits(z)) x y z[1,] 00 00 00[2,] 01 00 01[3,] 00 01 01[4,] 01 00 01[5,] 01 00 01[6,] 01 01 00[7,] 01 01 00[8,] 00 01 01 In cryptography we xor a message x with secret random data y. Because each bit in y is randomly true with probability 0.5, the xor output is completely random and uncorrelated to x. This is called perfect secrecy. Only if we know y we can decipher the message x. # Encrypt message using random one-time-padmsg <- charToRaw("TTIP is evil")one_time_pad <- random(length(msg))ciphertext <- base::xor(msg, one_time_pad)# It's really encryptedrawToChar(ciphertext) # Decrypt with same padrawToChar(base::xor(ciphertext, one_time_pad)) This method is perfectly secure and forms the basis for most cryptograhpic methods. However the challenge is generating and communicating unique pseudo-random y data every time we want to encrypt something. One-time-pads Continue reading >>
Cryptographer - Infosec Resources
Job Description: What Does a Cryptographer Do? Encryption is a method to encode information so that only authorized parties can read it. This extra layer of security is invaluable in national security, finance, healthcare security, corporate intellectual property, legal files and many others. Encryption duties will vary depending on the employer and the industry, or governmental department. A Cryptographer is responsible for ensuring the safety of private, business and governmental data by using encryption tools and techniques to lock or hide (encrypt) and unlock (decrypt) access to the files. The information may be in the form of data, texts and communications protocols. They often must develop algorithms, ciphers, mathematical models and other security methods to protect data and identify security problems and the necessary fixes. Some cryptographers working for the government or law enforcement may work to decode and analyze data which may be encrypted to conceal criminal or terrorist activity. Others may be charged in the private sector with protecting personal account and credit card information and their transmission and storage using encryption. Encrypted communications protect networks and their connected devices from hackers and malware. In todays world, where governments, business and private individuals store and conduct their business digitally, the need for encryption /decryption services is growing constantly. Cryptographer Job Duties and Responsibilities The Cryptographer may be responsible for some or all of the following. As with any position, the responsibilities will vary depending on the company business model, products and size: Identify and analyze vulnerabilities in security systems; Design security and encryption systems to eliminate, or reduce, Continue reading >>
Cryptographer: Job Description, Duties And Salary Information
Cryptographer: Job Description, Duties and Salary Information Cryptography requires significant formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and salary requirements to see if this is the right career for you. Cryptographers help protect confidential information and may work to protect military, financial or political data. They may be involved in encrypting information or decrypting information. Cryptographers are required to pass a background check and possess at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics, or a related field. Cryptographers analyze and decipher encrypted data to assist law enforcement or government agencies in solving crime, threats or security concerns. They also develop computational models that help solve problems in business, engineering, science, or other industries. A minimum of a bachelor's degree and experience in information technology is required for many jobs in cyber analysis that use cryptography. Government jobs in this field typically require a background check and security clearance. Since much of their work is mathematics-based, cryptographers are often grouped with mathematicians for statistical purposes. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the field of mathematicians should see favorable growth rates over the next few years, but because the field is small, that won't translate into many jobs. According to O*Net Online, cryptographers apply mathematical theories to solve problems in various industries, including engineering, business, and science. Cryptographers may analyze and decipher encryption systems as well as develop new encryption algorithms. They may develop statistical or mathematical models to analyze data and come up with methods to correct problems. They also test these mode Continue reading >>
How To Be A Cryptologist
If you enjoy mysteries and puzzles, and are good with numbers, a job in cryptology (also called cryptography) might be right for you. A cryptologist deciphers secret codes and may create codes and encryptions as well. Cryptologists work for government agencies, the military, computer companies and financial institutions to help safeguard private information. A career in cryptology requires intelligence, adaptability and a strong character [source: USMilitary ]. To become a cryptologist you will need a bachelor's degree in one of the following fields: Once you've earned your bachelor's degree, here's how to proceed. Earn a post-graduate degree in a similar field or in cryptology itself. Although a post-graduate degree isn't necessary for an entry-level position, you will probably need it in order to advance in your career. Apply for an internship. Many government and military agencies offer internship opportunities for people who want to become cryptologists [source: BrainTrack ]. Get a job in military intelligence. This can help you prepare for a career in cryptology [source: Olson ]. Cryptologists work in many different environments. If you work for a software company, you'll probably work in a high-tech-office environment with all kinds of computer software and equipment. If you work for the United States Navy, you may work in a shore-side duty station or deal with radio data and communications aboard a ship. You may have to cross-train with a specific military service. For example, you may have to become a member of a submarine crew or aviation crew. To qualify to be a military cryptologist, you must have a clean criminal record, never having committed a felony or misdemeanor [source: USMilitary ]. Continue reading >>
Cfnc.org - Career Profile
Cryptography is a way to keep messages and other data secret. Cryptographyis the art of writing or solving ciphers. What's a cipher? It's a "secret or disguised way of writing," says theConcise Oxford Dictionary. In the business world, cryptography refers to mathematicallybased encryption methods that keep data away from the prying eyes of criminalsor enemy governments. Today's businesses and governments use what is called "strong" encryption.This type of encryption is created using applied mathematics. Strong encryptionwas once used solely for military purposes, but in today's information society,encryption is needed for all kinds of uses. If you're shopping on the Internet, there's a good chance you're usingencryption technology. Kurt Stammberger has set up encryption systems foronline music stores. "Say you want to buy a CD," he says. "The storefront is set up to securesessions automatically. You've probably seen this in the corner of your screen:a broken key becomes a whole key. This is good, because if you're typing inyour credit card number you want to ensure that number is protected." There is a wide variety of projects that require the services of a cryptographer.For example, cryptographer Jim Reed is working on a new way to encrypt cellularphone signals so criminals can't steal phone time. "Working through the detailsof that has occupied a large part of my time over the last couple of years,"he says. Cryptography provides privacy for people and corporations. It encouragestrust between businesses. It keeps hackers out of important data systems --as much as possible. Of course, electronic commerce has provided a big boostto cryptographers. Most cryptography is done by computer software and specialized hardwaredevices. It's not the cryptographer who sits there fi Continue reading >>
What Is Cryptography? - Definition From Whatis.com
What Is The Field Of Cryptography?
The demand across all industries for increased computer security is growing, and cryptography is a subcategory within the career field of information security. Cryptologists employ codes to protect private or classified information from unauthorized viewing and use cryptographic knowledge and techniques to decode information that would otherwise remain hidden. The discipline is a very old one that has gained new and increasing importance with the proliferation of cybercrimes. Here are some of the job functions of cryptologists, the steps for entering the career and an overview of salary and expected job growth for the profession. Cryptologists at the Heart of Information Technology Security Companies operating in banking, financial services, telecommunications and health care require computing systems that utilize encryption technology that is developed by cryptologists. These cryptologists mostly specialize in computer network security, and they use mathematical algorithms and software tools to produce codes that are increasingly difficult to decipher without authorized decryption keys. The sensitive nature of the data associated with many of these industries require by law that organizations use data security methods like encryption. For example, the health care industry has adopted electronics record keeping as well as protective regulations like the Privacy and Security Rules under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Many cryptologists work for private and public agencies that help to safeguard classified information or identify threats to national security. For instance, cryptologists are often trained in signal intelligence within military or other government agencies, and they use their knowledge to create tighter communications networks Continue reading >>
Cryptography - Wikipedia
"Secret code" redirects here. For the Aya Kamiki album, see Secret Code . "Cryptology" redirects here. For the David S. Ware album, see Cryptology (album) . Cryptography or cryptology (from Greek krypts, "hidden, secret"; and graphein, "writing", or - -logia , "study", respectively  ) is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries .  More generally, cryptography is about constructing and analyzing protocols that prevent third parties or the public from reading private messages;  various aspects in information security such as data confidentiality , data integrity , authentication , and non-repudiation  are central to modern cryptography. Modern cryptography exists at the intersection of the disciplines of mathematics , computer science , electrical engineering , communication science , and physics . Applications of cryptography include electronic commerce , chip-based payment cards , digital currencies , computer passwords , and military communications . Cryptography prior to the modern age was effectively synonymous with encryption , the conversion of information from a readable state to apparent nonsense . The originator of an encrypted message shared the decoding technique needed to recover the original information only with intended recipients, thereby precluding unwanted persons from doing the same. The cryptography literature often uses the name Alice ("A") for the sender, Bob ("B") for the intended recipient, and Eve (" eavesdropper ") for the adversary.  Since the development of rotor cipher machines in World WarI and the advent of computers in World WarII , the methods used to carry out cryptology have become increasingly complex and its application more widespread. Modern cry Continue reading >>