What is Ciphertext?
Let's find out Ciphertext meaning, definition in crypto, what is Ciphertext, and all other detailed facts.
Ciphertext is a term used in cryptography to describe the encrypted form of a message that was initially created as plaintext. The algorithm used to encrypt the message is known as cipher.
Ciphertext contains the original plaintext. During the process of encryption, the plaintext is turned unreadable to any person or device that does not possess the decryption key to turn it back into the original plaintext.
The cipher used to create a ciphertext is an algorithm. The ciphertext is the output of applying the encryption algorithm.
Prior to the development of electromechanical devices and computer prototypes, cipher algorithms were done by hand, typically using pen and paper. There are several types of cipher, like substitution, polyalphabetic substitution, and transposition.
The substitution cipher is an encryption method when parts of the plaintext are replaced with ciphertext and can be decoded using a key. The polyalphabetic substitution cipher uses a mixed alphabet for encryption.
One type of transposition cipher, the rail fence cipher, is a method of encryption where units of plaintext shift positions based on a specific system. The result is a permuted plaintext. A few other types of transposition cipher include double and columnar transposition, as well as scytale.
Modern ciphers provide higher security to the plaintext than classical ciphers. There are two main categories of modern encryption methods – private-key cryptography and public-key cryptography.
An attacker trying to crack a cipher that uses private-key cryptography is aware of the plaintext and the ciphertext that corresponds to it. Both the sender and the receiver have a pre-shared key they use for decryption. Private-key encryption is done using DES and AES algorithms.
Correspondence that uses public-key cryptography requires two keys for encryption and decryption – the private key and the public key. The sender uses the public key to encrypt the plaintext. The receiver is not aware of what the private key is. Instead, the receiver has the public key which is used to decrypt the ciphertext and access the message.