General resource site for Cryptography.
- Cryptography originally meant Secret Writing and was use by Caesar in his communications from the Gallic wars. Since then it has become a category of mathematics dealing with methods that are easy to invoke and difficult to discover. Commercial Cryptography is involved in:
- protecting data from disclosure (its original purpose) and
- assuring the source or integrity of messages.
- Cryptography is hard math that deals with the solution of hard problems. It is not a topic that can be addressed by programmers looking for simple solutions with a limited time budget.
- As mathematicians and computer architects continue to explore solutions space the hard problems of cryptography are found to have simpler solutions. The continued success of the attempts to solve hard problems results in a continued effort to find new hard problems that can replace those that have been solved.
- The impact of this constant churn in the list of hard problems is a similar churn in the cryptographic algorithms that are accepted as computationally secure.
- Most programmatic solutions are not sufficiently robust to fend off attacks by determined adversaries. Bugs and new attacks are a fact of life.
- Thus any solution that depends on cryptography for security must be designed to allow new algorithms to be swapped out as old ones are solved or bugs are discovered.
- Bill's crypto page has a broad list of crypto methods.