How do you choose a cryptographic algorithm and key size – Part 1

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This is one of those subjects that you could argue everyday but the basics are actually very simple. It is generally agreed that the strength of a cryptographic algorithm can be defined by the level of computational complexity necessary to break the algorithm. If the algorithm is perfect then that should be the effort required to exhaust the key. In practice this means you have to try the algorithm for every key to get a matching pair of plain texts and cipher texts, the brute force attack.

Choosing a Cryptographic Hash Function

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Hash functions are widely used for a number of reasons but in the world of cryptography they are the core of message authentication and data integrity functions, reducing a message to a relatively short digest or check sum to which some cryptographic operation involving a secret key is applied.

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