Strong Text Encryption

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Modern strong text encryption methods were developed in the 1970s, and rely on asymmetric key algorithms to process data. Many still use a version of RSA encryption, a method developed by three researchers at MIT and published in 1976. Recent developments and amendments to RSA algorithms, which often use factorization to generate the keys, include systems that use elliptic curve cryptography instead.

Asymmetric cryptography such as RSA requires the use of separate codes for encoding and decoding the data in question. The encoding code is often known as a public key, meaning that it is relatively safe to transmit over non-secure channels. The decrypting key, or private key, is unique for each user, and is necessary to view of access any encrypted information. Because the private key is unique, and because it is unnecessary to ever communicate the private key, there is less likelihood of the passwords ever being compromised and the sensitive data stolen or hacked.

Though powerful, asymmetric key algorithms are often complex, and it requires both time and computational power to process such strong text encryption. Symmetric key algorithms, which provide strong text encryption with a single key-code are less demanding, and are used in many commercial and government networks. The main drawback of symmetric key algorithms is that they require diligent key management, such as frequently changing the key.

Strong Text Encryption Using Hybrid Systems

Many current encryption programs use a hybrid system that combines the strengths of both systems into a single package. The main body of the text is encrypted using a symmetric key which is in turn encrypted using asymmetric algorithms, which means only a single user can open the key. Because it generally requires much less time and processing power to encrypt and decrypt a password than to decrypt a whole document or file using asymmetric algorithms, hybrid systems are able to preserve the integrity of the key, and allow quick decoding of the document--features that are suitable for many private, commercial, and government applications.


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