Enigmatic Cryptography

insight into the craft of covert communication

design © max ciotti

About

This blog is the documentation of an independent study project done for a senior-level English course at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas.

an·ti·sec
a movement opposed to the computer security industry, and is against full disclosure of information about details of a security problem.
ci·pher
an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption.
ci·pher·text
the result of an encryption performed on plaintext using a cipher.
crypt·a·nal·y·sis
the art and science of analyzing information systems in order to study the hidden aspects of the systems; used to breach cryptographic security systems and gain access to the contents of encrypted messages, even if the cryptographic key is unknown.
cryp·tog·ra·phy
the process or skill of communicating in or deciphering secret writings or ciphers.
de·cryp·tion
the reverse process of encryption, where a ciphertext is transformed back into a plaintext.
en·cryp·tion
the process of encoding messages (or information) in such a way that eavesdroppers or hackers cannot read it, but that authorized parties can.
en·ig·mat·ic
difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious.
hack·ti·vis·m
a portmanteau of hack and activism; the use of computers and computer networks to promote political ends, chiefly free speech, human rights, and information ethics.
key
a parameter that determines the functional output of a cipher; specifies how the plaintext is transformed into the ciphertext in encryption and vice-versa in decryption.
man-in-the-mid·dle at·tack
a form of active eavesdropping in which the attacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them, making them believe that they are talking directly to each other over a private connection, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the attacker.
pack·et
a formatted unit of data carried by a packet mode computer network.
plain·text
information a sender wishes to transmit to a receiver, i.e. the message.
ste·ga·no·gra·phy
the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message; a form of security through obscurity.

Credit to Wikipedia and Wordnik for some definitions.