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Encryption and Decryption
Encryption and decryption are processes that ensure confidentiality that only authorized persons can access the information.
Encryption is the process of translating the plain text data (plaintext) into random and mangled data (called cipher-text).
Decryption is the reverse process of converting the cipher-text back to plaintext. Encryption and decryption are done by cryptography. In cryptography a key is a piece of information (parameter) that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm.
Figure 17.9 shows the encryption and decryption process.
Encryption has been used by militaries and governments to facilitate secret communication. It is now commonly used in protecting information within many kinds of civilian systems. It is also used to protect data in communication system, for example data being transferred via networks (e.g. the Internet, ecommerce), mobile telephones, wireless microphones, wireless intercom systems, Bluetooth devices and bank automatic teller machines. There have been numerous reports of data in communication being intercepted in recent years. Data should also be encrypted when transmitted across networks in order to protect against the network traffic by unauthorized users.
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