The origin of the word cryptology lies in ancient Greek. The word cryptology is made up of two components: kryptos, which means hidden and logos which means word. Cryptology is as old as writing itself, and has been used for thousands of years to safeguard military and diplomatic communications. For example, the famous Roman emperor Julius Caesar used a cipher to protect the messages to his troops. Within the field of cryptology one can see two separate divisions: cryptography and cryptanalysis. The cryptographer seeks methods to ensure the safety and security of conversations while the cryptanalyst tries to undo the former's work by breaking his systems.
The main goals of modern cryptography can be seen as: user authentication, data authentication, non-repudiation of origin, and data confidentiality.
In today's society, cryptography is one of tools for privacy & trust. It is used extensively for access control, electronic payments, enterprise security besides other areas.
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Hash Functions are functions for summarizing or probabilistically identifying data. Such a summary is known as a hash value or simply a hash, and the process of computing such a value is known as hashing. This page covers hash functions in great detail with a good coverage of various algorithms.
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