Topics in cryptography

From Academic Kids

This article is intended to be an 'analytic glossary', or alternatively, an organized collection of annotated pointers. See List of cryptography topics for an alphabetical listing of cryptography articles.


Classical ciphers

Famous ciphertexts

Attacks on classical ciphers

Modern algorithms, methods evaluation and selection projects

Standards organizations

  • the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication program (run by NIST to produce standards in many areas to guide operations of the US Federal government; many FIPS Pubs are cryptography related, ongoing)
  • the ANSI standardization process (produces many standards in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing)
  • ISO standardization process (produces many standards in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing)
  • IEEE standardization process (produces many standards in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing)
  • IETF standardization process (produces many standards (called RFCs) in many areas; some are cryptography related, ongoing)

See Cryptography standards

Cryptographic organizations

  • NSA internal evaluation/selections (surely extensive, nothing is publicly known of the process or its results for internal use; NSA is charged with assisting NIST in its cryptographic responsibilities)
  • GCHQ internal evaluation/selections (surely extensive, nothing is publicly known of the process or its results for GCHQ use; a division of GCHQ is charged with developing and recommending cryptographic standards for the UK government)
  • Communications Security Establishment (CSE) — Canadian intelligence agency.

Open efforts

  • the DES selection (NBS selection process, ended 1976)
  • the RIPE division of the RACE project (sponsored by the European Union, ended mid-'80s)
  • the AES competition (a 'break-off' sponsored by NIST; ended 2001)
  • the NESSIE Project (evaluation/selection program sponsored by the European Union; ended 2002)
  • the CRYPTREC program (Japanese government sponsored evaluation/recommendation project; draft recommendations published 2003)
  • the Internet Engineering Task Force (technical body responsible for Internet standards -- the Request for Comment series: ongoing)
  • the CrypTool project (eLearning programme in English and German; freeware; exhaustive educational tool about cryptography and cryptanalysis)

Cryptographic hash functions (message digest algorithms)

Public key / private key encryption algorithms (aka asymmetric key algorithms)

Public key / private key signature algorithms

Key authentication

Anonymous identification scheme

  • GPS (NESSIE selection anonymous identification scheme; Ecole Normale Supérieure, France Télécom, & La Poste)

Secret key algorithms (aka symmetric key algorithms)

  • Polyalphabetic substitution machine cyphers
    • Enigma (WWII German rotor cypher machine -- many variants, many user networks for most of the variants)
    • Purple (highest security WWII Japanese Foreign Office cypher machine; by Japanese Navy Captain)
    • SIGABA (WWII US cypher machine by William Friedman, Frank Rowlett, et al)
    • TypeX (WWII UK cypher machine)
  • Hybrid code/cypher combinations
    • JN-25 (WWII Japanese Navy superencyphered code; many variants)
    • Naval Cypher 3 (superencrypted code used by the Royal Navy in the 30s and into WWII)

Classified cryptography (U.S.)

  • EKMS NSA's Electronic Key Management System
  • FNBDT NSA's secure narrow band voice standard
  • Fortezza encryption based on portable crypto token in PC Card format
  • KW-26 ROMULUS teletype encryptor (1960s - 1980s)
  • KY-57 VINSON tactical radio voice encryption
  • SINCGARS tactical radio with cryptographically controlled frequency hopping
  • STE secure telephone
  • STU-III older secure telephone
  • TEMPEST prevents compromising emanations
  • Type 1 products

Breaking ciphers

Weak key issues

Key transport/exchange

Pseudo- and true random number generators

Anonymous communication

Legal issues


Books and publications


Uses of cryptographic techniques


Free / open-source cryptosystems (ie, algorithms + protocols + system design)

  • PGP (a name for any of several related crypto systems, some of which, beginning with the acquisition of the name by Network Associates, have not been Free Software in the GNU sense)
  • FileCrypt (an open source/commercial command line version of PGP from Veridis of Denmark, see PGP)
  • GPG (an open source implementation of the OpenPGP IETF standard crypto system)
  • SSH (Secure SHell implementing cryptographically protected variants of several common Unix utilities, First developed as open source in Finland by Tatu Ylonen. There is now OpenSSH, an open source implementation supporting both SSH v1 and SSH v2 protocols. There are also commercial implementations.
  • IPsec (Internet Protocol Security IETF standard, a mandatory component of the IPv6 IETF standard)
  • Free S/WAN (an open source implementation of IPsec)zh:密码学主题列表

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