Encryption Dictionary: The Terms You Should Know


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http) is the basis of data communication on the Web, it is an application protocol for information systems. All web servers use http to transfer web pages to browsers.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (https) adds a secure layer. Look out for the S in some web addresses in your browser, these sites have a connection encrypted by TSL or SSL.

A Secure Socket Layer ensures that any data transferred between the web server and the browser you are using is kept private. Security weaknesses were found in SSL in 2008 meaning hackers could fake security certificates and gain access to encryption keys, so TLS was developed to replace SSL.

Transport Layer Security is SSL’s successor (and is often still referred to as SSL), a cryptographic protocol which provides security for communications over computer networks such as over web browsers, email, faxing, IM (instant messaging) and voIP (voice-over-Internet-Protocol).

Two factor authentication requires more than just a username and a password to login. A bank may give customers a card reader to generate passcodes, for example, or you may need to receive an access code via SMS or automated phone call when logging into certain accounts. 2FA is safest when it uses two different ways to secure access, like unlocking your front door with a key and then turning off the burglar alarm with a PIN number.

Advanced Encryption Standard is a secure method of encryption which the US National Institute of Standards and Technology commissioned to be created. To encrypt data, blocks of numbers are organized into series of grids and adjusted by a cryptographic key. These encryption keys can be different lengths, the shortest being 128 bits. AES256, used by get2Clouds® is super reliable because there are 1.1 X 1077 possible combinations, which would take a supercomputer 1,254,856,009,386,230,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years to try them all. Considering the sun will collapse in 4-5 billion years, AES256 encryption keys can be said to be uncrackable. However, as AES was created for the US Government, many believe that it may have been tampered with by the NSA and is therefore not be completely secure.

RSA, unlike Blowfish and AES, is an asymmetric key system, so the encryption and decryption key are different. RSA, and its public/private key system, is often used for the distribution of ciphers for symmetric key systems (Blowfish, AES).

Blowfish is an encryption system which is older than AES and was uncracked until the 2016 Sweet32 birthday attack. Published in 1993, developers using Blowfish can choose from a range of key lengths, and like with AES, security is stronger with longer bit lengths.

The method of Perfect Forward Security uses a new encryption key for every session, which means any hack which snoops your connection and captures your encryption key would be futile because there would be a new key generated the next time you connect to the encrypted data.


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