Mile2 Cybersecurity Certifications

OCU C)ISSO D Discussion Lesson 07

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    • #65762
      Jessica Jagerson

      Choose 1 Symmetric Cipher and explain this to a person that is not knowledgeable of cybersecurity or technology.  Write this in complete sentences and in paragraphs in your own words.  If you use any terms, be sure to explain them in a non-technological way.

    • #85177
      Marcena Davis

      A concealment cipher is a type of symmetric cipher that is used to encrypt and decrypt messages. It works by using a secret key that is only known to the sender and receiver of the message. The key is used to scramble the message so that it becomes unreadable to anyone who does not have the key. The scrambled message is then sent over the network or stored on a device.

      When the receiver receives the scrambled message, they use the same secret key to unscramble it and read the original message. Concealment ciphers are used to keep messages secure and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

      One of the most widely used concealment ciphers is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). AES is a complex algorithm that uses a 128-bit or 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt messages. The complexity of the algorithm makes it very difficult to crack or decipher the message without the secret key.

      For example, imagine that you want to send a message to a friend, but you don’t want anyone else to be able to read it. You can use a concealment cipher like AES to encrypt the message using a secret key that only you and your friend know. Once the message is encrypted, you can send it over the internet or store it on your device without worrying that anyone else will be able to read it.

      Ultimately, a concealment cipher is a type of symmetric cipher that is used to encrypt and decrypt messages using a secret key. It helps to keep messages secure and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. AES is a widely used concealment cipher that is very secure due to its complex algorithm.

      • #85215
        Kelly Crooks

        Marcena, nice job explaining what a concealment cipher is and what it does. It was well written for those none “technical” people to understand. I think you did an excellent job of explaining the basic features of the cipher.

        One thing that I found interesting about symmetric ciphers is how many there are and that they have been used for such a long period of time. I guess people have always had a need to keep information and data safe and encrypted.

    • #85179
      Kelly Crooks

      The Advanced Encryption Standard or AES is a symmetric block cipher chosen by the U.S. government to protect classified information. A block cipher is a method of encrypting data in blocks to produce ciphertext. A block cipher encrypts bits or the smallest unit of computational (relating to the process of mathematical calculation) in blocks. Block ciphers are most commonly used to encrypt large amounts of data into blocks.

      A block cipher uses a fixed key to encrypt groups of data in order to maintain maximum security and confidentiality. When using a block cipher, each block consists of 128 bits. When a block cipher is used it encrypts the data and changes it from plaintext to ciphertext. A cipher block then creates two different algorithms, one for encryption and one for decryption.

      There are advantages and disadvantages to using a block cipher. One advantage is that they go undetected and boast a strong resistance to tampering. A disadvantage is that the speed at which it is encrypted isn’t as fast as some of the other methods. This happens because the data is encrypted in blocks instead of individual pieces. Another disadvantage is that any mistake even a small symbol can jeopardize the entire block.

    • #85192
      Marcena Davis

      Hi Kelly! AES is also used by banks and financial institutions to secure online transactions to ensure that sensitive financial information, such as credit card details and bank account numbers, is kept secure and confidential.
      I agree with your point about block ciphers being able to go undetected and having a strong resistance to tampering. It’s important to consider the trade-off between security and speed when choosing an encryption method.
      The fact that even a small mistake in a block can compromise the entire block is also worth noting, as it highlights the importance of ensuring that the encryption process is error-free to maintain the integrity of the data being encrypted.

    • #85714
      Kevin Mehok

      IST3100 Information Systems Security Officer
      Week Two Lesson 7
      Kevin Mehok

      Hey Class,

      Symmetric Encryption is the most basic and old method of encryption (Hera, 2021). It uses only one key for the process of both the encryption and decryption of data (Hera, 2021). Thus, it is also known as Single-Key Encryption (Hera, 2021).

      A few basic terms in Cryptography are as follows:

      Plain Text: original message to be communicated between sender and receiver (Hera, 2021).

      Cipher Text: encoded format of the original message that cannot be understood by humans.
      Encryption (or Enciphering): the conversion of plain text to cipher text (Hera, 2021).

      Decryption (or Deciphering): the conversion of cipher text to plain text, i.e., reverse of encryption (Hera, 2021).

      The Symmetric Cipher Model:
      A symmetric cipher model is composed of five essential parts:
      1. Plain Text (x): This is the original data/message that is to be communicated to the receiver by the sender (Hera, 2021). It is one of the inputs to the encryption algorithm (Hera, 2021).

      2. Secret Key (k): It is a value/string/textfile used by the encryption and decryption algorithm to encode and decode the plain text to cipher text and vice-versa respectively (Hera, 2021). It is independent of the encryption algorithm. It governs all the conversions in plain text (Hera, 2021). All the substitutions and transformations done depend on the secret key (Hera, 2021).

      3. Encryption Algorithm (E): It takes the plain text and the secret key as inputs and produces Cipher Text as output (Hera, 2021). It implies several techniques such as substitutions and transformations on the plain text using the secret key (Hera, 2021).

      E(x, k) = y

      4. Cipher Text (y): It is the formatted form of the plain text (x) which is unreadable for humans, hence providing encryption during the transmission (Hera, 2021). It is completely dependent upon the secret key provided to the encryption algorithm (Hera, 2021). Each unique secret key produces a unique cipher text (Hera, 2021).

      5. Decryption Algorithm (D): It performs reversal of the encryption algorithm at the recipient’s side (Hera, 2021). It also takes the secret key as input and decodes the cipher text received from the sender based on the secret key. It produces plain text as output (Hera, 2021).

      D(y, k) = x


      Hera, A (2021)

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