What is Cryptography?

There are a number of terms associated with a cryptosystem. These include cryptology, cryptography, cryptanalysis, and steganography. Cryptology is the study of secure communications, which encompasses cryptography, cryptanalysis, and steganography. Cryptography is the branch of cryptology dealing with the design of algorithms for encryption and decryption. These algorithms are intended to ensure the secrecy and/or authenticity of messages and data. Cryptanalysis is the branch of cryptology dealing with the breaking of a cipher to recover information, or forging encrypted information that will be accepted as authentic. A cipher is an algorithm for encryption and decryption. A cipher replaces a piece of information with another object, with the intent of concealing meaning. Typically, a secret key governs a replacement rule. Lastly, steganography is a method of cryptology that hides the existence of a message. [Newman, 2002, p. 65-66]

Figure 1. Cryptography (SUPINFO International University, 2016)

The word “cryptography“ is derived from Greek and when literally translated, means “secret writing.” Before the advent of digital communications, cryptography was used primarily by the military for the purposes of espionage. With the advances in modern communication, technology has enabled businesses and individuals to transport information at a very low cost via public networks such as the Internet. This development comes at the cost of potentially exposing the data transmitted over such a medium. Therefore, it becomes imperative for businesses to make sure that sensitive data is transferred from one point to another in an airtight, secure manner over public networks. Cryptography can help us achieve this goal by making messages unintelligible to all but the intended recipient. [Atreya, n.d., ¶ 2]

Encryption refers to the transformation of data in “plaintext“ form into a form called “ciphertext,” which renders it almost impossible to read without the knowledge of a “key,” which can be used to reverse this transformation. The recovery of plaintext from the ciphertext requires the key, and this recovery process is known as decryption. This key is meant to be secret information and the privacy of the ciphertext depends on the cryptographic strength of the key. [Atreya, n.d., ¶ 3]

Figure 2. Encryption (Tectrade, 2015)

Cryptography is the study of “mathematical“ systems involving two kinds of security problems: privacy and authentication. A privacy system prevents the extraction information by unauthorized parties from messages transmitted over a public channel, thus assuring the sender of a message that it is being read only by the intended recipient. An authentication system prevents the unauthorized injection of messages into a public channel, assuring the receiver of a message of the legitimacy of its sender. [Diffie & Hellman, n.d.]

Figure 3. Privacy (Cosmos Auto Repair, 2014)

A channel is considered public if its security is inadequate for the needs of its users. A channel such as a telephone line may therefore be considered private by some users and public by others. Any channel may be threatened with eavesdropping or injection or both, depending on its use. In telephone communication, the threat of injection is paramount, since the called party cannot determine which phone is calling. Eavesdropping, which requires the use of a wiretap, is technically more difficult and legally hazardous. In radio, by comparison, the situation is reversed. Eavesdropping is passive and involves no legal hazard, while injection exposes the illegitimate transmitter to discovery and prosecution. [Diffie & Hellman, n.d.]


Atreya, Mohan.  “Introduction to Cryptography.”  Retrieved on May 25th, 2017 from URL:  https://web.cs.ship.edu/~cdgira/courses/CSC434/Fall2004/docs/course_docs/IntroToCrypto.pdf

Diffie, Whitfield & Martin E. Hellman, n.d.  “New Directions in Cryptography.”  Retrieved on May 25th, 2017 from URL:  http://crypto.csail.mit.edu/classes/6.857/papers/diffie-hellman.pdf

Newman, C. Robert.  “Enterprise Security 2nd Ed.”  Pearson Education 2003, New Jersey.

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peace and blessings,


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Free online courses from Microsoft @edX.org

Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn.” – Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous, and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us, and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.

In this new connected world, we believe technology creates opportunity, and our edX courses are designed to provide you with the core development skills needed to be successful in the cloud-first, mobile-first world.

Our edX courses, taught by Microsoft experts, let you learn through hands-on experience with broad reach, cutting-edge technologies in areas including cloud services, mobile development, and data sciences. Whether you’re a student or a seasoned technologist, we can empower you to build innovative applications, services, and experiences on the Microsoft platform that will help you make a meaningful impact in today’s interconnected world.

Welcome to the world of Microsoft technology – choose a path and make your mark.

This website is a part of the edX network, an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.

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Study Cisco CCNA for Free @GeekUniversity

Welcome to study-ccna.com, a free CCNA tutorial site where you can study CCNA

Welcome to study-ccna.com website, a free CCNA tutorial site that closely follows the Cisco CCNA curriculum. The site was designed to help you pass the CCNA exam (640-802), but it can also be used as a reference site for anything networking related. Here you can find all materials needed to study for your CCNA exam.

On the left side you will find a list of articles. The articles on this site are divided by chapters. The first couple of chapters describe some basic networking terms and devices. The later chapters go a little bit in depth. You can start reading the articles from the beginning, or you can find a specific article that interest you.

So, what are you waiting for? Choose a topic on the left and start learning! We wish you luck!

This website is a part of the Geek University network, a free web portal covering many aspects of IT system administration.

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peace and blessings,


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Is Microsoft Edge safer than Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox?

“Chrome set the bar high. Firefox couldn’t match it. Edge jumped right over it.” – VentureBeat

“…unlike Chrome, Edge doesn’t hog so much of computer’s power. On a Web-browsing battery test, the Dell XPS 13 lasted an hour longer with Edge than with Chrome. When streaming Netflix, it lasted two full hours longer.” – Wall Street Journal

According to NSS Labs. Microsoft Edge blocks more phishing sites and socially engineered malware than Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. See details here

Not only is Microsoft Edge safer, it’s faster. See more

Source: My Browser

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How to get Windows 10 Mobile version 1703 (Build 15063) before April 25th, 2017?

After the roll out of the first phase of Windows 10 version 1703 on April 11th, 2017, Microsoft has announced that the roll out of the Windows 10 Mobile version 1703 is scheduled to begin on April 25th, 2017. However, if you have a Windows Phone with Windows 10 Mobile version 1607 (Build 14393) and want to update it to Windows 10 version 1703 (Build 15063) before April 25th, 2017 here’s what you need to do:

  1. Select Windows Insider Program from Settings > Update & security
  2. On the Get Insider Preview builds tap the Get started button
  3. Proceed with the process of joining the Windows Insider Program
  4. Select Fast as a pace to get the new builds
  5. (after your phone restarts) Select Phone update from Settings > Update & security
  6. Tap Check for updates button
  7. Shortly you’ll notice that a new update is available

8. Depending on your Internet connection, sure it’ll take some time to download

9. Make sure that your phone’s battery is fully charged (or at least 40%) in order to install the update

10. After the installation is complete and the phone is restarted, select About from Settings > System to check that Windows 10 Mobile version 1703 is installed on your Windows Phone

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How to get Windows 10 version 1703 (Build 15063) before April 11th, 2017?

If you have a computer with Windows 10 version 1607 (Build 14393) and want to update it to Windows 10 version 1703 (Build 15063) before April 11th, 2017 (every second Tuesday of the month Microsoft releases updates through Windows Update), here’s what you need to do:

  1. Navigate the https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 web page and click Update now button.

2. Save the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant when you’ll be prompted.

3. Run the Windows 10 Update Assistant after the download completes. Click Update Now button after you have been notified that the latest version is 15063.

4. After the successful check is completed, click Next to start downloading the Windows 10.

5. Shortly Windows 10 starts downloading. You may want to click Minimize button to not be distracted by the Windows 10 Update Assistant window on your computer’s desktop.

6. When download completes, click Restart Now to start the update.

7. The update proces takes a considerable time thus be prepared to display patience. After the update process is completed and you have logged in Windows 10 version 1703, click Exit button to close the Windows 10 Update Assistant.

8. Enjoy the (New) Windows 10!

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peace and blessings,


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(New) Windows 10 coming April 11th, 2017 as a free update

Recently, if you have accessed the Windows Update you might have noticed the following:

Good news! The Windows 10 Creators Update is on its way. Want to be one of the first to get it?

Yes, show me how

Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President (Windows and Devices Group) on March 29th, 2017 through Windows 10 Blog announced the following:

Dona Sarkar, Microsoft’s Software Engineer (Windows and Devices Group), on March 20th, 2017 through Windows 10 Insider Blog announced the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15063 for PC and Mobile. Windows Insiders in the Release Preview ring will be helping test the update path from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) that customers will be taking.

Here are just a few of the new features coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update:

  • 3D for Everyone and enabling mixed reality
  • Watch, participate, chat and interact in real-time with Beam
  • Microsoft Edge is faster and safer with better browsing and entertainment
  • From sleeping better to easily managing your children’s screen time
  • Additional security and privacy protection
  • and many more…

So far, since its launch in July 29th, 2015, Windows 10 has undergone four major versions (builds). Microsoft kept the promise of providing an operating system as a service:

  1. Windows 10 version 1507 (Build 10240)
  2. Windows 10 version 1511 (Build 10586)
  3. Windows 10 version 1607 (Build 14393)
  4. Windows 10 version 1703 (Build 15063)

If you have a test computer and want to try out the aforementioned new Windows 10 feature before April 11th, then go ahead and download the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15063 for PC and Mobile. If not, then better be patience and wait until after April 11 when most probably you’ll get the (New) Windows 10 Update for free through Windows Update.

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