Cryptography Techniques Assignment Sample
Task: In this assessment, you are required to provide a complete report of your research project, that you chose in Assessment 3 (Research Project Abstract) by discussing the following aspects:
- Overview of the technology involved
- Relevant technologies and applications of those technologies
- Highlighting the challenges/problems in your chosen research area
- Identification of any gaps in the literature by:
- discussing areas/issues that you believe have been addressed in the current literature;
- highlighting areas/issues that have not been addressed or adequately addressed; and
- discussing your view(s) on the issue(s) that you see as being critical.
- Summarize the future research directions based on the identified gaps
Overview of the cryptography techniques
Cryptography is also known as cryptology, which is related with the study and practice of techniques regarding secure communication. Yanget al. (2015) stated that cryptography is about developing and analyzing protocols that can prevent other third parties from reading private message. It includes different aspects related with information security like data integrity, data confidentiality, non-repudiation and authentication. Ogiela (2016) mentioned that, all these aspects are considered as central part of the cryptography technique. Caoet al. (2014) stated that modern cryptography could be considered as an intersections of various disciplines like computer science, physics, communication science and mathematics. Erway (2015) added by saying that modern cryptography is high dependent on computer-based practices and mathematical theories. It has been found that breaking the algorithm of modern-day cryptography is hard to decode even by any modern adversary. Weiet al. (2014) stated that the increase of the use of cryptography technology has increased the legal concerns related with this technology. It has also increased concerned regarding copyrights infringement and digital rights management.
Hence, this research work is developed to discuss about one of the most important areas of information system, which is known as cryptography. In this report, relevant techniques related with cryptography and the application of those technologies is discussed. In the next section, the challenges and issues related with cryptography techniques are analyzed. Then, the gaps in the literature and future mode of study regarding the topic have been discussed.
Relevant technologies and applications of those technologies
Bertino (2015) mentioned that three types of cryptographic techniques can be found in recent time. They are such as symmetric key cryptography, public key cryptography and cryptanalysis. All these technologies and their applications are discussed below:
- Symmetric key cryptography: Cromanet al. (2016) mentioned that in case of symmetric key cryptography, the sender and receiver of a massage use the same key. Cimato& Yang(2017) argued that in some cases, these keys can be different by they are related with each other and can be easily calculated. Until the year of 1976, it is considered as the only one type of cryptography technique. It has been found that the ciphers used for symmetric key algorithm cab either stream cipher or block cipher. The block cipher technique enciphers all the input in blocks of plaintexts. Fernando et al. (2016) mentioned that, it is mainly the opposite of main characters used in the input of stream cipher. On the other hand, stream cipher is opposite of block cipher. This encryption technology helps to create a wide stream of key material. Belguith, Jemai & Attia(2015) stated that, the stream is combined with the plaintext character-by-character or bit-by-bit. Juenemanet al. (2015) mentioned that depending on the hidden internal state, the output stream is generated. The output changes, when the cipher becomes operational.
- Stallings (2016) mentioned that in symmetric key cryptography, hash functions are used as cryptographic algorithm. This algorithm is able to take message of any length as input. The output is a short and fixed length of hash. Cimato& Yang (2017) stated that if appropriate has functions are used, no cyber attacker can find two massages with same hash. In previous years, hash function named MD4 was, which was broken. Now, MD5 is used, which has strengthened all the variants of MD4. Symmetric key cryptography is the most used encryption system of Data Encryption Standard (DES). The main drawback of this encryption is that sender and receiver have to somehow exchange the provate key in a secure way.
- Public key cryptography: In case of public key cryptography, a public is distributed publically. However, it is combined with private key, which always remain secret (Cromanet al. 2016). It has been found that in public key encryption technique, the public key is mainly used for the encryption and private key is used decryption. Bertino (2015) mentioned that, in this communication system both sender and receiver agree on a shared key encryption. This protocol of transmission is known as Diffie-Hellman key exchange protocol. Weiet al. (2014) mentioned that public key cryptography can be used utilized to implement the scheme regarding digital signature.
- Cimato & Yang (2017) stated that digital signature can be tied with message. However, digital signature cannot be moved from one document to another. It is also considered a hybrid cryptosystem. In this system, a high quality symmetric key encryption algorithm is used for the message. On the other hand, a symmetric key is also send with the message, which is encrypted with the help of public key algorithm. Erwayet al. (2015) added by saying that the scheme of hybrid digital signature is also used in this cryptography. In that case, it is required to compute the cryptographic hash function and the hash function has to be signed digitally.
- Cryptanalysis: Another cryptographic technique is developed to assess the issues and weaknesses of a scheme related with cryptography. This technique is known as cryptanalysis. Cimato & Yang (2017) mentioned that, it is a symmetric key cipher, which typically tries to find out the cyber attacks against stream ciphers or block ciphers. This technology utilizes the weaknesses of an algorithm and other attacks on cryptosystems. Caoet al. (2014) stated that, it is known as side channel attacks. It helps to find out issues in an encryption such as the time required to encrypt plaintexts or error regarding the PIN or password. It is also including the analysis of the length and pattern of message, which helps to gather in-depth information regarding an attack. It is also known as internet traffic analysis. Cimato & Yang (2017) mentioned that, this cryptographic system can be very useful to alert an adversary.
Highlighting the challenges/ problems in the selected research area
There are some major issues or challenges regarding cryptography technique implementation can be found. These issues or challenges are discussed below:
- Prohibitions: According to Ogiela (2016), cryptography technique has been used for intelligence gathering. It can be stated that secrete communication is a treacherous and criminal activity. The anonymity of cryptography technique has caused various legal issues against it. For this reason, in some countries like France has prohibited the use of cryptography, even internally. Even in recent years, in countries like Iran and China, license is required to use the cryptography technique. In countries like Pakistan, Belarus, Mongolia and Singapore restrictive laws regarding the usage of cryptography have been developed.
- Export controls: During the years of 1990s, countries like US had faced challenges regarding exportation of cryptography. In the year of 1996, more than 25 countries have signed Wassenaar Arrangement. Yanget al. (2015) mentioned that, it was actually an treaty regarding arms control related with exports of arms and the duel usage of technologies like cryptography technique. However, after the year of 2000, the policies regarding exporting cryptography technique had become more relaxed. Since that time, web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet explorer got the right to get access to cryptography.
- NSA involvement: This issue is related with the usage of cryptography technique in USA. The issue was regarding the influence of National Security Agency on the development of policy regarding cryptography technique. It has been found that NSA was involved in the development of DES with IBM. The design of DES was resistant to the cryptanalysis technique. Steven Levy stated that, the IBM had discovered the technique of cryptanalysis. However, NSA requested IBM to keep this technology secrete.
- Management of digital rights: It is considered as another major issue regarding cryptography technique, as it is considered as the central part of the digital right. As the request of a group of copyright holders, a group techniques were implemented in order to technologically handling the usage of copyrighted things. During the year of 1998, the president of USA had sanctioned the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This act has criminalized the development, distribution and utilization of any cryptanalytic technique. Cimato & Yang (2017) mentioned that similar types of restrictions were adopted by the member’s states, who signed the World Intellectual Property Organization.
- Forced encryption key disclosure: Forced disclosure of the encryption key is another major issue regarding the Cryptography technique. A Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act was developed in UK, which provided UK police the authority to force their suspects to decrypt their files. It has become a major issues and many controversies regarding the issue have been developed. Another major issue occurred during the year of 2016 related with FBI-Apple encryption dispute.
- Addressing the gaps in the literature: • In the current literature, various issues regarding the topic of cryptographytechnique has been discussed. These issues are such as prohibition regarding the usage of cryptography, export control and NSA involvement. Issues regarding digital right management and force disclosure of encryption key have also been discussed in this section. It has been found that the anonymity of cryptography technique has caused various legal issues against it. For this reason, in some countries like France has prohibited the use of cryptography, even internally. During the years of 1990s, countries like US had faced challenges regarding exportation of cryptography. It has been found that NSA was involved in the development of DES with IBM. The design of DES was resistant to the cryptanalysis technique. Steven Levy stated that, the IBM had discovered the technique of cryptanalysis. In addition to that, forced disclosure of encryption key has been analyzed as another major issues related with cryptography technique. A Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act was developed in UK, which provided UK police the authority to force their suspects to decrypt their files. It has become a major issues and many controversies regarding the issue have been developed.
- In this existing research work, it has not been discussed how encryption technique is used by terrorist organizations to communicate with each other. It has also not also been discussed how encryption technique is used to transfer fund secretly. It has been found that the encryption technique is also used in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. It has not been discussed whether this new cryptocurrency is threat or opportunity for the world economy or not.
Analyzing the future research directions depending on the identified gaps<
In future, it is required to develop strategies about how to reduce the illegal usage of encryption technique. Research works related with crypto currency like Bitcoin need to be developed more. It is also required to analyze whether the development of an encryption technique based fund transfer system will be beneficial for the world economy or not.
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