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Enigma Machine During World War II, the Germans used the Enigma machine to pass encrypted transmissions back and forth, which took years before the Polish were able to crack the messages, and give the solution to the Allied forces, which was instrumental to their victory.Lets face it: modern encryption techniques can be an extremely boring subject, so instead of just explaining them with words, we’ve put together a comic strip that talks about the history of encryption, inspired by Jeff Moser’s stick figure guide to AES.This encryption method could be fairly easily broken, of course, but it’s one of the first examples of encryption actually being used in the real world.Julius Caesar used a somewhat similar method during his time by shifting each letter of the alphabet to the right or left by a number of positions—an encryption technique known as Caesar’s cipher.As a good example of the speed difference between different types of encryption, you can use the benchmarking utility built into True Crypt’s volume creation wizard—as you can see, AES is by far the fastest type of strong encryption.There are both slower and faster encryption methods, and they are all suited for different purposes.In addition, if Bob were careless and allowed someone else to copy key, Alice’s messages to Bob would be compromised, but Alice’s messages to other people would remain secret, since the other people would be providing different padlocks for Alice to use.Asymmetric encryption uses different keys for encryption and decryption.
Symmetric-key algorithms can be divided into stream ciphers and block ciphers—stream ciphers encrypt the bits of the message one at a time, and block ciphers take a number of bits, often in blocks of 64 bits at a time, and encrypt them as a single unit.
For instance, using the example cipher below you’d write “GEEK” as “JHHN”.
Since only the intended recipient of the message knew the cipher, it would be difficult for the next person to decode the message, which would appear as gibberish, but the person that had the cipher could easily decode and read it.
For more on benchmarking different types of encryption, check out a report from Washington University of St.
Louis, where they did a ton of testing on different routines, and explained it all in a very geeky write-up.AES was announced by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as U. FIPS PUB 197 (FIPS 197) on November 26, 2001 after a 5-year standardization process in which fifteen competing designs were presented and evaluated before Rijndael was selected as the most suitable encryption algorithm.